Why the 49ers Might Promote Nick Sorensen to Defensive Coordinator

The 49ers will have to bring in a new defensive coordinator after firing Steve Wilks because he had the third-best defense in the just concluded NFL season.

Remember, the 49ers hired Wilks last offseason, didn’t let him bring his scheme or his assistant coaches with him, then scapegoated him for the overtime collapse in the Super Bowl.

It might be hard to find a coach who’s willing to replace him, because that coach easily could become the next scapegoat if the 49ers don’t win the Super Bowl next season.

“Even midseason, it didn’t really feel like a great fit for Steve Wilks and for Kyle Shanahan,” Ian Rapoport said on The NFL Network.

“Remember when he was in the booth and they had him come down to the field?

“That was probably the first sign that all was not well. So much of what a defensive coordinator does is put the players in great positions to succeed, and there was some angst from some of the star players — Nick Bosa was one, which was not a great sign overall.

“It just didn’t seem like Kyle Shanahan and Wilks were on the same page, and when he called timeout in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl because he didn’t like the play call, that was something that caused alarm bells to go off in all of our heads. This was coming.

“As far as where they go from here, there are a lot of big-time names available. Brandon Staley certainly is one. I would expect him to get some consideration.

“Chris Harris, a real good secondary coach, I know he came real close to getting the job last year when Steve Wilks ended up getting it. Nick Sorensen is one of the internal candidates the 49ers will consider.

“I don’t get the sense this will be a hurry-up job. They have some time because they’re the only defensive coordinator job available. They’re going to look in all different places to hire their defensive coordinator.”

And when they’re done with their search, they will promote from within. That’s my prediction. Current defensive passing game coordinator Nick Sorensen will become the 49ers’ next defensive coordinator.

Sorensen has been with the 49ers the past two seasons and their pass defense has been excellent during this time. And he worked under both Wilks and DeMeco Ryans, so he’s a good fit.

And if Robert Saleh gets fired next year and the 49ers want to bring him back to the organization as the defensive coordinator, they easily can move on from Sorensen.

If the 49ers promote Sorensen, which I believe they will, he’ll be a mere placeholder.



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