Programming note: For comprehensive 49ers coverage from the NFL combine in Indianapolis, watch SportsNet Central tonight at 6, 10:30 & midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
INDIANAPOLIS – Jim Tomsula suggested Thursday that if former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh had an issue with him, he should have picked up the phone to discuss the matter.
Instead, Harbaugh recently spoke fondly of the “loyal coaches” from his previous staff. He seemed to suggest that Tomsula was not in that category. In a podcast hosted by Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News, Harbaugh was asked if he believed Tomsula was setting himself up last season to replace Harbaugh.
“That’s a good question for him, better than to me,” Harbaugh said.
Tomsula was asked about the perception he was campaigning for the job, which is a belief among some of the assistant coaches that lost their jobs with the 49ers this offseason, according to sources.
“OK, well, first of all, there’s nothing to that, and it’s ridiculous,” Tomsula said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “OK? Second of all, if anybody needs to talk, just give me a buzz. OK? That’s all.”
Tomsula did not mention Harbaugh at the press conference on Jan. 15 after being named as the head coach. But Tomsula said that slight was not an indication of a working relationship that had eroded.
”For me, no,” he said. “Jim Harbaugh and his staff, which I was part of, won a lot of football games for the San Francisco 49ers. Great job. There’s no disputing any of that. I don’t have a negative word to say about any of that. It was all positive. We all didn’t get it done last year at 8-8.
“I guess that’s where I’m at with it. I don’t see where there’s something there. I don’t see it.”
Tomsula was speculated to be the top candidate from within the 49ers’ staff for the past year. CEO Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke were known to hold Tomsula in high regard since Mike Nolan hired him as defensive line coach in 2007. He served as the 49ers' interim head coach for the final game of 2010 after Mike Singletary was fired.
Tomsula was one of 10 candidates for the job. The 49ers interviewed Vic Fangio, Adam Gase, Dan Quinn, Mike Shanahan, Doug Marrone, Todd Bowles, Josh McDaniels, Rex Ryan and Teryl Austin. Tomsula was chosen over Gase, the former Denver Broncose offensive coordinator.
“I really wasn’t sure exactly how it was going to go, to be quite honest,” Tomsula said. “And then I got offered the job. As it went on, you’re looking into it. When I went back and had the second interview, (I thought) 'I might be in this.' ”
Matt Maiocco will appear on Yahoo SportsTalk Live tonight at 5, 7 & 11 p.m. to discuss Jim Tomsula’s comments to the media at the NFL combine.