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#pounditTuesday, May 21, 2024

Could 49ers target 1 former head coach for DC role?

The San Francisco 49ers logo at midfield

Nov 12, 2018; Santa Clara, CA, USA; A general overall view of the San Francisco 49ers logo at midfield at Levi’s Stadium prior to the game against the New York Giants. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are hunting for a new defensive coordinator, and rumors are circulating that one former NFL head coach could be in line for the role.

Some around the league believe the 49ers will ultimately hire former Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley to replace Steve Wilks, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Staley has never worked alongside 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, but they did meet three times when Staley was either a defensive coordinator or head coach of a 49ers opponent.

Staley is seen by many as the best option available at this point in the offseason. There is also a belief that the 49ers would not have fired Wilks without having at least some idea of who might be a candidate to replace him.

Staley was fired as Chargers coach toward the end of last season, but remains respected in NFL circles. As the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator in 2020, Staley was in charge of the league’s top-ranked defense. He even interviewed for the role again this offseason, but the Rams stayed internal and promoted Chris Shula to the job.

Wilks was fired by the 49ers on Wednesday despite leading one of the league’s better defenses in a season that nearly ended with a Super Bowl. Whoever replaces him, be it Staley or someone else, will clearly be faced with some high expectations.

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