Who is the Ideal Defensive Coordinator Hire for the 49ers?

It is now seven days since the 49ers sacked former defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. During that time, there has not been a single report about who they are interviewing. It’s pretty bizarre how nothing has been revealed.

Regardless, the 49ers don’t have to be in a rush to hire a new defensive coordinator. They can take some more time to ensure they have researched and considered all of their options.

It’s all about finding their ideal candidate. They cannot have a repeat of Wilks, or else another failure there will unleash the floodgates on Kyle Shanahan.

So, who is the ideal defensive coordinator hire for the 49ers?

Well, it seems like the popular pick is former Patriots coach Bill Belichick. He would make a fine coordinator and would have the trust of Shanahan.

But one has to wonder if he even wants a coordinator position. Plus, the thing with Belichick is if the 49ers hire him, he is most likely a one-and-done coach. The same goes for former Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, who I believe is the best external option.

Vrabel has a proven track record as a solid defensive coordinator, and most importantly he has proven to have success against Patrick Mahomes. Not to mention that if he comes to the 49ers, it could pave a way for linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair to return.

He could easily mesh with Vrabel, tell the players about him to make for an easy transition, and fits a need next to Fred Warner with Dre Greenlaw on the mend.

But again, Vrabel or Belichick are practically guaranteed to leave after one year. I think the 49ers would like to look at a coach that will be there for at least two seasons. That means an internal hire would be their ideal avenue first and foremost.

Part of what made Wilks a failed experiment is because he was an outsider. The fact that he was brought down from the booth to the sidelines indicated that he needed to conform.

As for a coach who would be up for defensive coordinator, my pick has always been defensive backs coach Daniel Bullocks. He has been with the 49ers since Shanahan took over in 2017 and has worked his way up since.

It shows that he is a promising coach with his arrow pointing upward. Not to mention that his players absolutely love him. Bullocks has proven his ascension, tenure, and admiration from the players.

His track record also speaks for itself with the players that have improved under his watch like Talanoa Hufanga, Deommodore Lenoir, Ambry Thomas, and even Charvarius Ward.

The hesitation in hiring him could be because he is a defensive backs coach. Shanahan may be looking at a linebackers oriented one, especially since a secondary background didn’t work with Wilks.

Perhaps linebackers coach Johnny Holland is the guy. The 49ers did have Robert Saleh and DeMeco Ryans who were linebacker oriented, so maybe he is the fit?

There is also going to be defensive line coach Kris Kocurek who gets mentioned, but I think the 49ers value him way more as a positional coach. Another name I have seen mentioned in some write ups is defensive pass game specialist Nick Sorensen.

He has a collective feel and oversees the entire defense on nickel situations. But my hesitation with him is that he has only been with the 49ers for two seasons. And before that, he was a special teams coordinator for the Jaguars.

There’s a lot to consider here for the 49ers, which is why they should take their time. Externally I believe it should be Vrabel, but you can’t go wrong with Belichick either.

Internally I believe it should be Bullocks and overall is the right choice. I’d expect this hire will be revealed before the NFL scouting combine commences so that the 49ers can proceed with their offseason.



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