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Report: 49ers may be closing in on new defensive coordinator

Feb 20, 2024 at 3:37 PM--


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The San Francisco 49ers dismissed defensive coordinator Steve Wilks following the team's Super Bowl 58 defeat against the Kansas City Chiefs. According to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, head coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers could be nearing a decision on his replacement.

"Not sure when there'll be an announcement, but could be soon," Kawakami shared on social media.


While Wilks is respected in the NFL, his hiring was questioned due to the 49ers' desire to maintain their current roster, staff, and defensive scheme.

"A really tough decision because it really says nothing about Steve as a man or as a football coach," Shanahan said of the decision to part ways with Wilks. "He's exactly what we wanted as a man. He is a great football coach. But just where we're going and where we're at with our team from a scheme standpoint and things like that, looking through it all throughout the year, through these last few days, I felt pretty strongly that this was a decision that was best for our organization.

"And even though it was one I didn't want to make, it was something that once I realized that I think a different direction is what's best for our organization, then it's something that I have to do."

Wilks' defense ranked eighth in yards allowed, third in points allowed, third in rushing yards allowed, and 14th in passing yards allowed during the regular season. However, the unit struggled in the playoffs, allowing an average of 149.3 rushing yards per game compared to the 89.7 rushing-yard average allowed during the regular season.

"It just ended up not being the right fit," Shanahan admitted. "And it hurt for me to do this, but that's exactly why I had to. ... But it was just for his background and how it ended up with us, it was harder than it needed to be, and I felt it would improve us going a different direction."

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