49ers: Jon Gruden, Jim Harbaugh, Or Could Clash Of Titans Net Jeff Fisher?

Blaine SpenceSenior Writer INovember 29, 2010

Jeff Fisher
Jeff FisherMarc Serota/Getty Images

In a season that has already seen the Minnesota Vikings part ways with the aloof Brad Childress, and the Dallas Cowboys axe the temperate Wade Phillips, could the San Francisco 49ers' (insert your own adjective) Mike Singletary be far behind?

The 49ers, although mathematically still alive for the playoffs, have fallen well short of expectations this season. Even Singletary has admitted his shortcomings this season,

"Obviously, at 3-7, I wouldn't even dare to say I'm doing a good job," he said this week."-Source: Fox Sports

But still Singletary remains—and probably will until the conclusion of the season. The reasons range from not having a qualified candidate take over mid-season, to the uncertainty of the NFL even having a season next year with another strike/lockout possibly looming.

But one thing is clear, barring a miraculous finish vaulting the team into the playoffs, Singletary's days as head coach are numbered.

A number of candidates names have been circling around for weeks as possible successors to Singletary, Jon Gruden, Jim Harbaugh, Bill Cowher, John Fox, Jim Mora Jr. and Brian Billick to name a few.

Gruden and Harbaugh had seemed like long shots at best, but recent speculation by Sports Illustrated's Peter King and ESPN's Mike Sando has the two as cast as "prime candidates" in the arena of speculation.

"My thinking on Gruden is that he would provide a badly needed offensive-minded coach after years of mishandling the quarterback situation. Gruden also values the running game, which suits the 49ers' personnel. He has also won without an elite quarterback. Finally, Gruden has credibility in the Bay Area after his successful run as Oakland Raiders coach. He's a big name and that would only help the 49ers' efforts to get a new stadium built."-Source: ESPN

Personally I think Harbaugh could help bring some "Luck" to the team, but I digress.

It was only about three years ago that Tennessee Titans owner said that head coach Jeff Fisher wasn't going anywhere and then signed him to a contract extension through 2011. At the time, both Fisher and Adams had expressed a desire for Fisher to end his coaching career with the Titans,

"I have never even considered leaving," Fisher said. "I'm enjoying living here, enjoy coaching here. It was never a consideration. Hopefully, I can finish my coaching career here."-Source: ESPN

Time certainly has a way of changing things.

There is currently a power struggle going on between Adams and Fisher over quarterback Vince Young.

Young can be a decent quarterback but he is prone to bouts of immaturity, emotional outbursts, and injury.

In fact, a torn flexor tendon on his throwing hand will require season ending surgery.

To make a long story short, Fisher is tired of Young's crap. Adams on the other hand thinks that Young can be an elite NFL quarterback.

So will Fisher's reputation and value as a head coach win out?

Or will Adams, who has been compared to the Cowboys meddling owner Jerry Jones and the Oakland Raiders Al Davis, get his way and keep Young?

Chances are the two will get this figured out and both Young and Fisher will be back with the team.

However, should Fisher become available, he will certainly rise to the top of the short list for any team wanting an experienced and proven head coach.

Including the San Francisco 49ers.

Fisher served as defensive backs coach for the 49ers from 1992-1993. He left the team in 1994 to become the defensive coordinator for the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans).

During the '94 season, the Oilers fired head coach, Jack Pardee, and Fisher was named interim head coach. He was subsequently named head coach and has held that position ever since.

During Fisher's 17 seasons he has compiled a record of 141-112. His team have made the playoffs six times including the 1999 season when they lost Super Bowl XXXIV on the last play of the game against the St. Louis Rams.

Kevin Dyson was tackled by the Ram's Mike Jones on the one-yard line with time running out.

The play is now remembered as, "The Tackle".

Personally, I preferred, "The Catch".

Could Jeff Fisher be the next catch for the 49ers?