General manager Joe Thomas said yesterday that he asked permission from the Redskin to talk to assistant coach Pete McCulley about becoming the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

"I talked to George Allen," Thomas said on the telephone from the 49ers' camp in San Jose, Calif., "but I didn't get permission in time. I had to get a coach (after Monte Clark quit). They (Allen and McCulley) had to sit and talk about it."

McCulley was dropped as Colts' receiver adn conditioning coach after Thomas was fired as Baltimore general manager last spring. He said from the Redskins' training camp in Carlisle, Pa., "That's past history, Ken Meyer has that job. I'm happy with the Redskins. I would not want to say anything to make him uncomfortable."

Thomas also said, "McCulley is a fine coach and a fine person. Some day he will be a head coach some place. He has a lot of capability.

"You always talk to three or four guys when you are looking for a head coach.

"I thought Pete did a great job with the strength program at Baltimore. He was one of their best coaches. I hope he gets a break some day."

McCulley joined the Baltimore staff in 1973 after three years as quarterback and receiver coach at the U.S. Naval Academy. He still resides in Annapolis. His wife teaches, his son is a midshipman at the academy, and a daughter attends a community college.