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49ers fire defensive coordinator Steve Wilks


Head coach Kyle Shanahan responded to a question on Tuesday about defensive coordinator Steve Wilks’s past performance and possible future employment with the San Francisco 49ers with a generic statement about his coaching staff.

“I haven’t talked to anybody yet,” he replied. “So yeah, I expect all our coaches to be back.”

Wilks, who completed his first season with the organization in that capacity, was let go by the 49ers on Wednesday. In a game where the defense played effectively for the majority of the game. Before faltering late, the 49ers lost Super Bowl LVIII to the Kansas City Chiefs, 25-22. During regulation, the Chiefs managed to score just one touchdown, which resulted from a mishandled punt deep. Within San Francisco territory.

Considering that Dre Greenlaw tore his Achilles midway through the game and that Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave. Were playing through injuries during the Super Bowl, it was even more astounding. However, the 49ers’ defense was unable to stop Patrick Mahomes from doing enough—a couple of times with his legs—to lead them to victory in the closing moments of the regular and the first series of overtime.

Reporters were informed by Nick Bosa that, despite Mahomes’ two crucial late conversions, the 49ers “could’ve been more prepared” for the quarterback as a runner in the read-option game. “It’s kind of necessary to anticipate Mahomes’ desire to possess the ball,” Bosa stated. “Since we have experience with read-option teams, we know the answers. However, it’s difficult to play against a team that can defeat you in a variety of ways. When they did get it out, it turned out to be a significant few moments. We’ll get insight from it.

Shanahan called a timeout with the Chiefs facing a second-and-six from the San Francisco 37-yard line during a crucial possession late in overtime. Wilks was ready to give the Chiefs an all-out pressure look, and it seemed Shanahan didn’t like it.

According to a team transcript, Shanahan stated on Tuesday, “Yeah, I didn’t like the look they were in, and one of our players looked a little gassed.” “I never imagined that I would utilize them all at once. Thus, I reasoned that now would be a good moment to employ one.” Prior to joining the 49ers last season, Wilks, 54, had been the defensive passing game coordinator and secondary coach for the Carolina Panthers. He had also filled in as Matt Rhule’s temporary head coach for Carolina. During the 2018 campaign, he was also the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

Under the direction of DC DeMeco Ryans, who subsequently took a head coaching position with the Houston Texans. The 49ers developed their defense into the greatest team in the NFL in 2022. During six years, Wilks worked at five different jobs, including one year in college as Missouri’s defensive coordinator in 2021. He spent two years in Carolina.

The 49ers’ defensive performance in the two playoff games preceding the Super Bowl had disappointed Shanahan. Wilks, and San Francisco general manager John Lynch, who said it was unacceptable for players to not be giving it their all at that time in the season. However, Lynch went on to say on Tuesday, “I was pleased with our defense and how they played in the last game. That seemed to have looked as I had imagined. We were pursuing them. Even with such progress, Wilks was not able to hold onto his position.


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