Jimmy Raye was fired as offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers early in the season. QB coach Mike Johnson has taken over play-calling duties and may have a shot to stay on if he is able to help jump start the 49ers offense in the last half of the season. If not, Mike Singletary will be looking for yet another new offensive coordinator. While it is still very early and new names will likely surface, the coaching tree has come up with three potential replacements:
Al Saunders is currently a senior offensive assistant with the Baltimore Ravens. He has spent time as an offensive coordinator with the Rams, Redskins, and Chiefs, as well as two years as head coach of the Chargers (1987-88). Saunders spent seven seasons on the Chiefs staff with current 49ers OL coach Mike Solari, and has also coached with Kurt Schottenheimer and Ray Brown, current San Francisco assistants.
Greg Knapp is in his first year as QB coach after nine seasons as an offensive coordinator, including stints with the Seahawks, Raiders, Falcons, and 49ers. In 2009, Knapp worked with Mike Solari in Seattle. Prior to that, he spent two years in Oakland, where he coached with 49ers RB coach Tom Rathman. From 2004-06, he was the OC with the Falcons, and for two of those years, Mike Johnson was his QB coach. In his last stint in San Francisco, Knapp coached with current 49er assistants Jason Tarver, Johnnie Lynn, Solari, and Rathman, and also coached assistant OL coach Ray Brown, who was a guard with the team from 1996-2001.
Matt Cavanaugh is in his second season as QB coach with the New York Jets. Cavanaugh spent the previous four years as offensive coordinator at Pitt. Prior to that, he coordinated the Baltimore Ravens offense for six seasons, including their Super Bowl winning year in 2000. Having coached the Jamal Lewis led Ravens and now the run-oriented Jets, Cavanaugh may fit the mold Mike Singletary is looking for in an offensive coordinator. Singletary was on the Ravens staff with Cavanaugh for two seasons (2003-04). Cavanaugh also played for (1983-85) and coached (1996) the 49ers.