April 20, 2024


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49ers interview Brandon Staley and Nick Sorensen for defensive coordinator job – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

49ers interview Brandon Staley and Nick Sorensen for defensive coordinator job – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

Coach Kyle Shanahan has completed two formal interviews for the 49ers' defensive coordinator position and “should wrap it all up this week,” he told NBC Sports Bay Area via text on Monday.

The 49ers have completed interviews with former Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley and 49ers defensive passing game specialist Nick Sorensen, Shanahan said.

The opening was created when Steve Wilks was fired as defensive coordinator after just one season with the 49ers. Wilkes replaced DeMeco Ryans, who became the head coach of the Houston Texans.

Shanahan confirmed that 49ers defensive backs coach Daniel Bullocks is expected to interview for the vacant position later in the week.

The 49ers will likely interview at least two more coaches from outside the building later in the week, though Shanahan did not disclose what other outside candidates are being considered for the position.

NFL rules require clubs to interview at least two minority candidates for all coordinator positions.

Shanahan's search for a defensive coordinator is in his second week after informing Wilkes on February 14 of his decision to end their union.

The move was made three days after the 49ers' 25-22 overtime loss in Super Bowl LVIII to the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I felt strongly that this was the best decision for our organization,” Shanahan explained while announcing his decision. “And even though it was something I didn't want to do, it was something that once I realized that I thought a different direction was better for organizing, it was something I had to do.”

Shanahan and the 49ers' coaching staff will not travel again to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week. General manager John Lynch and the scouting department attend the complex while the coaches remain in Santa Clara to continue their work.

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Staley, 41, was fired after compiling a 24-25 record, including 0-1 in the playoffs, in three seasons as Chargers coach.

The Chargers hired Staley in 2020 after he spent just one season as Sean McVay's defensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams.

Staley's only previous NFL coaching experience came as an outside linebackers coach with Chicago (2017-18) and Denver (2019).

Sorensen, 45, joined the 49ers in 2022 as a defensive assistant. He was promoted to defensive pass game specialist/nickel linebacker last year.

Sorensen spent the previous season as the special teams coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Prior to his stint with the Jaguars, Sorensen spent eight seasons on Pete Carroll's staff with the Seattle Seahawks as a special teams assistant (2013-16), secondary coach (2017-19) and secondary coach/nickel specialist (2020).

Bullock, 40, has been with the 49ers since Shanahan arrived in 2017. He started as assistant defensive backs coach for two seasons before moving to safeties coach from 2019-22 before moving to his current position.

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