Erickson met with team brass Monday

Updated: December 13, 2004, 7:00 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Coach Dennis Erickson is in no hurry to leave the San Francisco 49ers just yet.

Erickson responded to the circling rumors about his future Monday, saying he thinks he'll still be employed by the 2-11 Niners at least until January. He met with owner John York and general manager Terry Donahue one day after San Francisco's 31-28 overtime win over Arizona, but believes all discussion of the coaching staff's future will wait three weeks.

"It wasn't really any different than any other meeting that I have with (York)," said Erickson, who meets with the owner after every game when York isn't home in Ohio. "We talked about the game. We talked a little bit about personnel. ... At the end of the year, we'll all get together -- him, I and Terry -- and talk about everything."

Erickson also said he hasn't been contacted by Mississippi about its head coaching vacancy -- but he also didn't exactly deny interest.

"Right now, really, my concern is playing the Redskins on Saturday and then go from there," Erickson said. "I mean, everybody has to look at options."

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Sunday that Erickson had emerged as the secret leading candidate for the Mississippi head coaching opening, according to multiple sources.

Erickson's future became a hot topic last week while the 49ers were preparing for their second straight victory over Arizona -- the only team they've beaten this season. He's 9-20 near the conclusion of his second season with San Francisco, and York might expect his coach to take the fall for this disastrous year.

York seems dissatisfied with the team's coaching staff, and Erickson certainly is dissatisfied with the lackluster roster assembled by York and Donahue. While Erickson is owed $7.5 million over the next three years, York might try to entice Erickson to quit by firing his assistants.

York declined to speak to the media on Monday, but in the parking lot at Sun Devil Stadium after the 49ers' dramatic win, he expressed his disappointment with the season -- and the assistant coaches who have presided over it.

"I don't think it will be possible to have all of them back," York said of the assistants.

Erickson is devoted to his coaches, previously saying he would fight any efforts to fire any of them. But on Monday, Erickson said he might be flexible on that stance if minor changes were demanded by York.

"Probably. That is something we have to discuss," Erickson said.

York rarely speaks to the media, but he made his displeasure evident even after a rare victory Sunday.

"I think there are a lot of things we need to look at," York said. "(Erickson) has a contract, and the contract will be honored. We will sit down and discuss a number of things. We obviously have made mistakes, and we have to get them fixed.

"It's been a totally unacceptable season. We need to get the thing turned around, and need to get it turned around quickly."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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