PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : RAMS : Shaw Interviews 49ers' Mike Holmgren

With Chuck Knox still the No. 1 candidate to replace John Robinson as coach, the Rams interviewed Mike Holmgren, the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator, in Los Angeles late Thursday.

Holmgren, perhaps the hottest head coaching candidate in a league with a record number of openings this year, met with Ram Executive Vice President John Shaw, but could not be reached for comment.

Holmgren, 43, has already interviewed with the Green Bay Packers, is scheduled to meet with the Pittsburgh Steelers in San Francisco today, and has plans to visit the Minnesota Vikings and the Indianapolis Colts early next week.

The 49ers, as part of the three-year, $275,000-a-year package they gave Holmgren after the 1989 season, have the right to refuse Holmgren permission either to interview for or to accept any head coaching job in the NFL.

Although the Rams believe that the 49ers would not stand in Holmgren's way if he were offered the job with their division rival, 49er President Carmen Policy has said it would be very difficult to allow Holmgren to take the Ram job.

Knox remains the Rams' No. 1 candidate, but he is exploring other options, including an interview today with the Colts. Knox is reported to be a top choice of the Packers--along with Holmgren--if Bill Parcells should turn them down.

Meanwhile, Buddy Ryan, who fell off the top of the Rams' list recently, has been told by Tampa Bay owner Hugh Culverhouse that he is the No. 1 candidate for the Buccaneers' job, after Parcells pulled out of a proposed $6.5-million deal with them.

Two other longshot Ram candidates--former Cincinnati Bengal Coach Sam Wyche and former Packer Coach Lindy Infante--also are also on Culverhouse's interview schedule.

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