How Sorensen and Staley help 49ers after hires

Kyle Shanahan interviewed Nick Sorensen and Brandon Staley first for the 49ers defensive coordinator position. It was clear Shanahan was impressed. He'll hire both, supposedly. Sorensen, 45, will become defensive coordinator after two years as a 49ers assistant, reported ESPN's Adam Schefter. Shanahan sacked Steve Wilks three days after the 49ers' Super Bowl LVIII loss to the Kansas City Chefs, opening the coordinator post.

Former Los Angeles Chargers coach Staley will work with Sorensen, a 10-year NFL safety. Staley, 41, will reportedly become 49ers assistant head coach. The 49ers' takeaways increased under Sorensen in the past two seasons. He emphasized turnovers, and the 49ers did well with 42 interceptions and 40 touchdown passes.

Staley interviewed well with Shanahan and 49ers general manager John Lynch. Shanahan and Lynch first met Staley in August 2021 when the 49ers and Chargers practiced together in Costa Mesa for two days before their preseason game.

Shanahan and Lynch admired Staley's game knowledge and style. After three seasons as Chargers head coach, Staley will collaborate with Shanahan in all aspects. Anthony Lynn, a former 49ers assistant head coach, became Washington Commanders rushing game coordinator under Dan Quinn last month.

Lynch attended the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week after interviews in Santa Clara. He explained what the 49ers wanted from their new defensive coordinator.

We like who we are, what we do as a defense,” Lynch said Tuesday. I don't think we should completely change it. We admire our attacking four-down front. With that stated, I think you constantly have to evolve and use opportunities like this to explore new ways to evolve. These interviews often generate these ideas

Staley worked for former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio in Chicago and Denver. The Rams hired Staley as defensive coordinator in 2020. He was there one season before becoming Chargers head coach. Staley went 24-25 in three seasons, 0-1 in the playoffs.

Sorensen's ascension from 49ers passing game specialist/nickel backs coach culminates a 17-day defensive coordinator search. The 49ers interviewed defensive backs coach Daniel Bullocks, Kansas City defensive backs coach Dave Merritt, and Las Vegas safeties coach Gerald Alexander.

Defensive coordinator Sorensen debuts. The 49ers hired him as a defensive assistant in 2022 and promoted him to defensive passing game/nickel backs coach last season. Sorensen played 134 NFL games with the Rams, Jaguars, and Browns in 10 seasons. Backup safety and special-teams player. He joined the 49ers following one season as Jacksonville's special teams coordinator.

Sorensen began his NFL coaching career in 2013 with eight seasons under Pete Carroll in Seattle. After special teams assistant, he became secondary coach (2017-19) and secondary coach/nickel specialist in 2020. He worked for Seahawks defensive coordinators Kris Richard and Ken Norton.

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