The former Broncos play-caller and now Chicago's offensive coordinator, Gase says he's fine knowing that job didn't pan out.
"I'm excited that I was able to come to the Bears," Gase said this week, per ESPN.com's Jeff Dickerson. "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 John Fox. So this has been a great spot for me."
Gase also interviewed with the Broncos last January for Fox's vacated seat after turning down an opportunity to interview with the Browns the previous winter.
"I don't even know (how close I was to getting the Niners job)," said Gase. "It's been such a ... I haven't even thought about it. It's so in the past right now."
Just 37, Gase has plenty of time to nab a coaching job down the line, especially after the season he's milked out of Jay Cutler. Besides, taking over the Niners would have come packed with all sorts of challenges after San Francisco saw a rash of key players retire and leave through free agency.
It would have been fascinating to see Gase work with 49ers quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert, but the young assistant still ranks high on Conor Orr's list of hot coaching candidates. With up to a dozen teams set to potentially clean house, Gase is bound to land another interview or two after the season.