When the Chicago Bears hired Adam Gase to be their new offensive coordinator, it was like getting their cake and eating it too. According to a new report out Monday however, the union almost never took place.
That’s because Gase was all set to become the head coach of the San Francisco 49’ers in December, but things hit an unexpected snag when the team added an ultimatum into the mix: he had to keep Jim Tomsula as his defensive coordinator.
Here is the story from Tim Kawkami of the San Jose Mercury News:
“According to an NFL source, Gase and (49’ers GM Trent) Baalke did indeed come very close to an agreement for Gase to replace (Jim) Harbaugh, down to the details of his prospective coaching staff, and Gase understood that his choices for the coordinator spots were approved…
“Then, the next morning, after Baalke flew back to the Bay Area, things changed: Gase, the source says, was informed that he could only have the job if he made Tomsula his defensive coordinator.
“Gase turned that suggestion down flat, and that’s when the 49’ers immediately tabbed Tomsula as the head coach to follow Harbaugh.”
If NFL observers are being critical of the 49’ers for the way they handled the Harbaugh departure, then this news surely will add more fuel to the fire. Pulling this kind of about face on a coaching candidate is not something that will garner much sympathy in a world where loyalty and honest dealings are so ingrained in the culture, and Gase certainly becomes a victim of a general manager who has clumsily handled this whole situation.
Ironically (or coincidentally), the man that Gase wanted to keep as defensive coordinator in San Francisco was Vic Fangio, who will end up working on the sidelines with Gase as defensive coordinator for the Bears this season.
The Bears obviously benefitted from all of this, and Gase will get a chance early on in his tenure in the Windy City to get revenge on the 49’ers for this late double cross: San Francisco comes to Soldier Field for a game in the 2015 season.