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NFL: Niners interview Coughlin

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Former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Former New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin had an interview scheduled Tuesday with the San Francisco 49ers about their head coaching vacancy, a person with direct knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press.

The two-time Super Bowl winning coach was to meet with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke at an unspecified location on the East Coast, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team is not making public its interviews or candidates to replace the fired Jim Tomsula.

Tomsula was let go immediately after a season-ending 19-16 overtime win against St. Louis on Jan. 3.

San Francisco CEO Jed York was in Houston on Tuesday for the NFL owners meetings.

The Niners, who went 5-11 and missed the playoffs for a second straight season, interviewed Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson in Cincinnati on Sunday after last week’s meetings with fired Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly and Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

San Francisco is seeking experience to replace promoted defensive line coach Tomsula after one disappointing season, and Coughlin fits that bill. His Giants beat the 49ers 20-17 in overtime of the 2011 NFC championship game at Candlestick Park in then-San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh’s first season, and New York went on to win the Super Bowl, the franchise’s last playoff appearance.

The 69-year-old Coughlin, one of 13 coaches to win multiple Super Bowls, resigned from the Giants on Jan. 4 after four straight years of missing the playoffs and consecutive 6-10 finishes. In 2015, he was the oldest active coach in the NFL. He began last season knowing he had to turn things around to keep his job, and the Giants lost six games either in the final 1:14 of regulation or in overtime.

Coughlin had a 110-93 record in 12 seasons with the Giants, winning three division titles in addition to his two championships. He was 72-64 in eight seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, capturing two division titles and leading them to a pair of conference championship games.

Browns

CLEVELAND — Jackson has interviewed with the Cleveland Browns for a second time about their coaching job.

The Browns confirmed owner Jimmy Haslam’s meeting on Tuesday with Jackson, who has emerged as the front-runner to become the team’s eighth coach since 1999.

Cleveland has not extended an offer to the 50-year-old Jackson, who has also interviewed with the San Francisco 49ers and could draw interest from other teams.

Haslam skipped the NFL meetings in Houston so he could meet with Jackson. Haslam’s wife, Dee, who has owned Cleveland’s franchise with her husband since 2012, attended the meetings in Texas and will likely vote on the future of pro football in Los Angeles on behalf of the Browns.

Jackson is the only candidate to meet twice with Cleveland’s search committee so far. It’s not known if the Browns have any more interviews scheduled. They first met with Jackson on Sunday, a day after the Bengals were beaten in an AFC wild-card game by Pittsburgh.

The Browns seem eager to get a deal done before Jackson signs elsewhere.

Jackson’s initial interview with Cleveland lasted more than four hours and the Browns liked him enough to have a second meeting.

Jackson’s background working with quarterbacks, his knowledge of the AFC North, and his experience as Oakland’s coach has made him attractive to the Browns. Cleveland owns the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, a selection they could use on a quarterback, perhaps California’s Jared Goff or Memphis’ Paxton Lynch, considered the top two college QBs in the 2016 class.

Jackson went 8-8 in his only season coaching the Raiders in 2011. He was fired amid an ownership change and joined Marvin Lewis’ staff in Cincinnati as a defensive assistant. He previously coached the Bengals wide receivers from 2004-06.

He has served as Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator the past two seasons. The Bengals ranked 15th in overall offense and quarterback Andy Dalton had his best statistical season before injuring his right thumb late in the season.

The Browns are looking for their sixth coach since 2008.

The Haslams fired Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer on Jan. 3, hours after a loss to the Steelers in the season finale.

Cleveland confirmed interviews last week with Adam Gase, Chicago’s former offensive coordinator who was hired by Miami; Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin; Jacksonville assistant Doug Marrone; Dallas secondary coach Jerome Henderson; New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia; and Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.

Jackson and Marrone are the only candidates with head coaching experience. Marrone went 15-17 in two seasons with Buffalo. Gase was the club’s first interview and the 37-year-old was believed to be its top target.

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AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32 .ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP—NFL

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AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in Santa Clara, California, contributed to this report.

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