Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan watches his team during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Peter Morgan/AP)

Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan watches his team during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Peter Morgan/AP)

Shanahan speaks with 49ers as process begins

Mike Shanahan has talked to the 49ers. Chip Kelly wants to talk to the 49ers. Sean Payton can’t talk to the 49ers until he and the New Orleans Saints decide to part ways. And Hue Jackson can’t talk to the 49ers until the Cincinnati Bengals play their AFC wild-card game this weekend.

Got it?

While Payton and Kelly, the deposed Philadelphia Eagles coach, remain front and center as potential candidates for the 49ers’ vacancy and other NFL head coaching openings, the process is a slow dance at the moment while Payton’s status with the Saints is decided.

Shanahan, who has interviewed with the Miami Dolphins, has spoken to 49ers officials about the same job for which he interviewed last winter. At 63, Shanahan has a strong offensive pedigree and coached the Denver Broncos to two Super Bowl titles in the late 1990s. But his last NFL coaching job ended in failure two years ago, when he was fired by the Washington Redskins.

Teams looking for a new coach will find plenty of qualified candidates.
Picking the right one is the tough part for the 49ers, Giants, Eagles, Dolphins, Browns and Titans.

Kelly, Shanahan and Adam Gase are just a few of the hot names.

From proven winners to successful coordinators to Super Bowl champions, here’s a list of some of the top candidates:

THE COORDINATORS
Jackson: Bengals offensive coordinator. Went 8-8 as Raiders head coach in 2011. Has coached offense/defense. Andy Dalton had best season under him. 49ers, Browns, Titans possibilities.

Adam Gase: Bears offensive coordinator and former Broncos OC. Has helped Jay Cutler and Peyton Manning have success. Dolphins, Browns and Eagles have interest.

Sean McDermott: Panthers defensive coordinator since 2011. Former Eagles DC. His defense has ranked in top-10 four straight years. Eagles, Giants could be right fit.

Josh McDaniels: Patriots OC since 2012. Former Broncos head coach, going 11-17. Has worked with Tom Brady for all but three seasons. Dolphins, Eagles possibilities.

Teryl Austin: Lions DC past two seasons. Led second-ranked unit in 2014. 49ers, Browns, Eagles, Dolphins have interest.

Matt Patricia: Patriots DC since 2012. Has been on Bill Belichick’s staff since 2004 and previously coached offensive side. Dolphins, Browns possibilities.

Darrell Bevell: Seahawks OC since 2011. Was hot name past couple pf years. Helped Russell Wilson have his best season this year. Teams have to wait to interview him. Titans would be nice fit.

ASSISTANT COACHES
Anthony Lynn: Bills running backs coach and assistant HC. Has been RB coach since 2003 with four teams. 49ers will interview him and Dolphins have interest.

Doug Marrone: Jaguars assistant HC. Was 15-17 as Bills head coach in 2013-14. Browns, Eagles, Dolphins have interest.

FORMER COACHES
Shanahan: Won two Super Bowls with Broncos. 49ers, Dolphins, possibilities.

Kelly: Was 20-12 first two seasons before 6-9 cost him job in Philadelphia. 49ers, Titans, Browns possibilities.

Mike Smith: Led Falcons to playoffs four times in seven seasons. Dolphins have interviewed him.

Jim Schwartz: Was 29-51 as Lions coach from 2009-13. Was DC in Buffalo in 2014 when Bills had fourth-ranked defense. Browns have interest.

CURRENT COACHES
Payton: Saints head coach past 10 seasons. Won one Super Bowl. Has two years remaining on contract. Giants, 49ers, Eagles would have interest if he’s available.

John Harbaugh: Ravens head coach past eight seasons. Won one Super Bowl, six winning years. No reason to think he’s leaving unless Eagles make a trade offer Baltimore can’t refuse.

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