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Penn State Football Coaching Search: Agent: 49ers Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman is a Finalist

by on January 02, 2012 11:30 PM

The latest spin of the Penn State coaching candidate wheel landed on another NFL offensive coordinator Monday.

Greg Roman, the 49ers lead offensive chieftain, is a finalist for the PSU coaching vacancy, his agent, Mike Harrison, told the Associated Press.

"We should know in a week or so, that's our best guess," Harrison said, according to the report. "He interviewed quite a while ago."

Roman is the second NFL offensive coordinator to be linked to the job in as many days. Sunday, ESPN's NFL insider Adam Schefter reported New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is the leading candidate to permanently replace Joe Paterno. USA Today later reported contract details need only be finalized before the hire is official.

Acting athletic director Dave Joyner denied that a deal had been reached with O'Brien, saying there's no deal with anybody and there is no leading candidate for the job.

O'Brien's agent, Joe Linta, seemed to back that notion in a statement to the Boston Herald on Sunday, saying, "any imminent contract signing or agreement (with Penn State) is just off-base. The most important thing for (O'Brien) is to win the Super Bowl. But if someone is going to be interested in him in the NFL, it's going to happen this week. He could be going somewhere else, he could be returning to the Patriots. But we'll wait and find out if someone is interested in him and seeks permission to talk with him."

Penn State's search started Nov. 28 — 20 days after Paterno was fired — when Joyner announced a six-person committee tasked to finding the university's 16th head football coach. It's been 36 days since the committee was announced, and Joyner has said he would like to hire a coach before a critical recruiting period Jan. 13-28, just before the Feb. 1 National Signing Day.

Roman, 39, left with coach Jim Harbaugh to San Francisco after serving as Stanford's associate head coach last year, grooming Heisman Trophy-finalist and projected No. 1 NFL draft pick Andrew Luck.

Before Stanford, Roman was an NFL lifer, breaking into the league as a strength and conditioning assistant/defensive quality control coach with the Carolina Panthers in 1995, their inaugural year. From 2004-05, Roman was the quarterbacks coach for the Houston Texans, the highest rung on the NFL coaching ladder he reached before joining the 49ers.

In addition to O'Brien and Roman, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Saturday that interim coach Tom Bradley was slated to have a second interview with the Penn State search committee. But after a press conference on Sunday at the Cotton Bowl, Bradley refuted that report, saying the committee "hasn't told me anything."

Late Friday night, reported Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements would be interviewed for a second time later this week.

A fourth candidate, Titans coach Mike Munchak, who issued a strong denial about his interest in the job last week, is still wavering on that decision, reported in that same Friday night story.

Penn State concluded its season Monday afternoon with a 30-14 loss to Houston in the TicketCity Bowl.

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