After being turned down by Mike Vrabel on Friday, it appears as though the San Francisco 49ers have finally found their new defensive coordinator. Early reports are indicating that the 49ers are handing the job over to former Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil who had served in the same position for the past two seasons. His defenses were ranked 9th and 29th, respectively.
The position was last held by former New York Jets/Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini, who had been with the 49ers for the past three seasons, serving as the offensive assistant for two of those years before taking over as the defensive coordinator last year.
With their new defensive coordinator finally in tow, O’Neil will have the opportunity to work with a young unit that features players such as NaVorro Bowman, Eric Reid, and Aaron Lynch as he prepares to formulate a defensive strategy that can coexist with Chip Kelly’s up tempo offense. Also look for O’Neil to come in and try to turn around a unit that ranked near the bottom of every defensive category in 2015.
As Kelly slowly builds his coaching staff, things should begin to take shape as he looks to return this once proud franchise back into a winner.