SANTA CLARA – Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase, one of two finalists for the 49ers’ head-coaching job in January, said Thursday he does not know how close he came to getting the job that ended up going to Jim Tomsula.
“I don’t even know,” Gase said during his weekly session with Chicago reporters. “It’s been such a … I haven’t even thought about it. It’s so in the past right now.”
But Gase, who figures to get more interviews for head-coaching positions this offseason, said it was a valuable experience to get so deep in the process with the 49ers.
“That whole experience was great for me,” Gase said. “It was a crazy two days and unfortunately we lost the first round of the playoffs. Any time you get a chance to do something like that, it’s a great experience.”
Gase was the Denver Broncos’ offensive coordinator last season, and found himself out of a job when John Fox was fired. He ended up back with Fox after turning down Tomsula’s offer to become 49ers offensive coordinator, sources told CSNBayArea.com.
“I’m excited that I was able to come here,” Gase said. “This is where I wanted to be. I feel like this is where I was meant to be — working with this group on offense, being with Coach Fox. So this has been a great spot for me.”
Gase said he always spends time around Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who served in the same position with the 49ers under Jim Harbaugh the past four years.
“Anytime you play a team that you have coaches on the staff that have been around that personnel, you are absolutely going to use that your advantage,” Gase said. “I go to Vic a lot more than for just this team because the knowledge he has of guys in the NFL is unbelievable, whether it be scheme or players.”
Gase downplayed the thought that this game means more to him because the 49ers passed him over for the head-coaching job.
“Any time you’re playing in just a game, you want to win,” Gase said. “So I know when we played Denver, that’s just as big as what this game is for us. As a group, we’re trying to win this week, and it just happens to be the 49ers.”