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The Ravens have been granted permission from four teams to begin speaking with their assistant coaches about replacing former head coach Ted Marchibroda, while former San Francisco 49ers coach George Seifert has shown little interest in the vacant Ravens job, according to a high-ranking team official.

Several members of the Ravens front office staff met yesterday morning and were granted permission to interview Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, Philadelphia defensive coordinator Emmitt Thomas, Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Brian Billick and Jacksonville coordinators Chris Palmer (offense) and Dick Jauron (defense).

The Ravens cannot interview any coach whose team is still involved in the playoffs, but the team could begin talks with Thomas and Haslett as early as Monday.

Green Bay coach Mike Holmgren and Stanford's Tryone Willingham are also candidates for the Ravens job and Willingham might be interviewed next week also.

Haslett spent Wednesday interviewing with the Eagles, but a league source said his priority is the Ravens even though Seattle has high regards for Haslett.

Thomas is not considered a front-runner for the Ravens job, but the team is still securing more information on him.

Billick, Haslett and Palmer have always been high on the Ravens' list, but Jauron, 48, is a surprise, especially since Jacksonville, before last Monday's night's 21-3 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, had the No. 26 ranked defense in the league. Also in the past two years, Jacksonville's secondary has been the major weakness on the team.

Jauron has been the Jaguars' defensive coordinator the past three years, but besides working under head coach Tom Coughlin, he also worked for head coaches Lindy Infante, Forrest Gregg and Holmgren during a nine-year stint with the Packers.

Neither Seifert or his agent returned phone calls yesterday, and the Ravens have had little success in scheduling Seifert for an interview.

There is speculation that Seifert is involved in intense negotiations with the Carolina Panthers, whom he visited with Monday and Tuesday.

The Ravens and Seattle reportedly have expressed interest in Seifert.

Seven teams are looking for new coaches, and the competition could heat up next week if Jacksonville and Green Bay are eliminated from the playoffs in wild-card games this weekend.

Pub Date: 1/01/99

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