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Brian Billick Emerges As Strong San Francisco 49ers Head Coaching Candidate

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With Stanford Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh potentially on his way to the Michigan Wolverines, and Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg the only other head coach being mentioned for the San Francisco 49ers vacant coaching slot, a lot of Niners fans are restless for other notable names.

The newest name is Brian Billick, the former leader of the Baltimore Ravens. The report is courtesy of Jason La Cafora of, who probably got the information from the same sources who told him Harbaugh is likely headed to Ann Arbor.

Several general managers, agents and people close to Jim Harbaugh and other potential "top" candidates for the open head-coaching job don't believe those people will end up with the 49ers.

But the 49ers' hierarchy has discussed Billick, who guided the Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl title following the 2000 season, and several personnel executives I've spoken to say they believe he has a legitimate shot in San Francisco and perhaps with at least one other team.

Billick's resume is impressive, but a little deceiving. He won a Super Bowl championship in 2000-01, but never won another playoff game after that during his tenure. Baltimore went to the playoffs only four times from 1999 to 2007, despite having the best defense of the era headed by Ray Lewis. Most notably, the offense always struggled, particularly at the quarterback position; after trading Trent Dilfer, the Ravens went through Elvis Grbac, Kyle Boller a couple of times, Anthony Wright, and the aging Steve McNair. For a Niners fanbase that's had to endure years of inept quarterback play, this sort of issue wouldn't be acceptable.

That being said, Billick is a proven coach, and he'd provide some sort of initial credibility to a franchise that has been lacking it lately.