Rex Ryan was fired Monday after six years as head coach of the New York Jets. Although he led the team to back-to-back appearances in the AFC championship game his first two seasons, Ryan was unable to coach the Jets to a winning record the last four years, including a dismal 4-12 effort in 2014.
Mike Shanahan sat out of the NFL this season after being fired by the Washington Redskins following a 3-13 finish in 2013. The two-time Super Bowl-winning coach with Denver finished with more than six wins only once in his four seasons with the Redskins.
Yet, Ryan and Shanahan appear to be in high demand as the NFL coaching carousel gears up this week.
The San Francisco 49ers are said to be interested in both men. Multiple media outlets are reporting that Ryan has already scheduled an interview with the team, while CSNBayArea.com reports that Shanahan has discussed the team's coaching vacancy with General Manager Trent Baalke.
But there are also at least six other guys in the running for the 49ers job -- including their own defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and defensive-line coach Jim Tomsula, Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, St. Louis Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan -- if you believe all the reports out there.
Maybe it's name recognition, a strong personality (at least in Ryan's case) or a glimmering past that outshines more recent stumbles (probably more so for Shanahan) -- but for whatever reason, it looks like there's a chance we're going to see one or both of those guys back on the sideline next year.