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Kyle Shanahan announces major change to his coaching staff

Kyle Shanahan in a 49ers cap

Oct 3, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan walks on the field before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan announced on Wednesday that he has made a major change to the San Francisco 49ers’ coaching staff.

Shanahan fired Steve Wilks as the team’s defensive coordinator. Shanahan said that Wilks “ended up being not the right fit.”

Wilks received praise for the job he did in his lone season coordinating the Niners’ defense. San Francisco’s defense was third in the NFL in points allowed and eighth in yards allowed per game. However, the way things unfolded in San Francisco’s Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs likely led Shanahan to make a change.

Wilks had his defense playing soft coverage on the Chiefs’ final drive in overtime, which ended in a winning touchdown for the Chiefs.

49ers star defensive end Nick Bosa also made some comments on Tuesday indicating he felt unprepared for the zone reads from the Chiefs.

“The zone read got us a couple of times,” Bosa said. “We could have been more prepared there. We have to know in crucial situations who is going to have the ball, and obviously it’s him. He had a scramble down the middle on that last drive.”

On two occasions, Bosa overpursued and lost contain, allowing Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense to pick up some big yardage.

Bosa obviously felt the coaching staff should have done more to prepare the players for what the Chiefs would run in those situations.

Wilks had called out his defense and challenged them ahead of the Super Bowl. Though they mostly shut down Kansas City’s offense, they weren’t able to hold on at the end of the game, and that’s probably a big reason why Wilks is gone after just one season.


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