The Cincinnati Bengals reportedly denied the 49ers' request to interview defensive backs coach Vance Joseph to become Jim Tomsula's assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.
The Bengals also blocked the Denver Broncos from interviewing Joseph for the position of defensive coordinator on new coach Gary Kubiak’s staff, the Denver Post reported.
The NFL recognizes only two tiers of coaching, according to the NFL’s anti-tampering policy. Teams are prohibited from blocking assistant coaches from head-coaching positions. But the league considers one assistant job for another – regardless of title or job description – a lateral move. Teams are under no obligation to grant an assistant coach the opportunity to discuss another assistant-coaching position with an interested club.
Joseph, 42, coached defensive backs with the 49ers from 2005 to 2010 under Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary. Joseph spent multiple years on the same defensive staff with Tomsula and Jason Tarver, who was hired Wednesday as senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach.
When Jim Harbaugh was hired in 2011, Joseph moved on to the Houston Texans for three seasons and worked on two AFC South championship teams. Last season was his first on Marvin Lewis' staff with the Bengals.
Eric Mangini, who was not retained on the 49ers’ staff as tight ends coach, met with Tomsula on Wednesday evening about the team’s vacant defensive coordinator position to replace Vic Fangio. Tomsula did not retain Fangio on his staff after beating out Fangio for the head-coaching job. Fangio and ex-49ers secondary coach Ed Donatell were hired to new Chicago Bears coach John Fox's staff this week.
Mangini, the former New York Jets and Cleveland Browns head coach, has a defensive background. He spent just one season as a defensive coordinator (2005) with Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots before landing his first head-coaching job. Mangini joined Jim Harbaugh’s staff as an offensive consultant in 2013 before a move to tight ends coach last season.