<
>

Erickson met with team brass Monday

12/13/2004 - San Francisco 49ers

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.