Reports: Shanahan, 49ers interview Brandon Staley for DC job

Feb 26, 2024, 2:33 PM | Updated: 4:08 pm

Brandon Staley of the Los Angeles Chargers on the sideline during a game against the San Francisco ...

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 25: Brandon Staley of the Los Angeles Chargers on the sideline during a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on August 25, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ric Tapia/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator search has been mum for the last 10 days. Until now.

Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reported Monday that coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers have interviewed former Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley for their vacant defensive coordinator position. Shanahan also revealed, via text, that the 49ers have met with position coach Nick Sorensen, and are expected to interview Daniel Bullocks as well.

The team is expected to meet with two more candidates outside of the organization, with interviews and the search expected to “finish it all up this week.” The news was first reported by Maiocco, later confirmed by Matt Barrows of The Athletic and others.

Brandon Staley, 41, was relieved of his duties as Chargers’ coach following a lop-sided Week 15 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, 63-21. The Ohio native was in charge of the Bolts for almost three seasons, holding a 24-25 record as HC. His best NFL tenure came in his lone season with the LA Rams in 2020 as their DC. His unit ranked second in points allowed and points allowed per game, and first in yards allowed per game.

Outside of that, Staley’s only other NFL experience is as the outside linebackers coach with Chicago (2017-18) and Denver (2019).

Meanwhile, San Francisco’s other interviews were with an in-house candidate.

Sorenson, 45, joined the 49ers’ staff in 202o as a defensive assistant, working his way up to defensive passing game specialist before last season. Before SF, he spent time in Jacksonville and Seattle. Under Pete Carroll, Sorenson was the Seahawks’ special teams assistant (2013-16), secondary coach (2017-19), and secondary coach/nickel specialist (2020).

Daniel Bullocks is another internal candidate to watch for. Only 40 years old, he joined the 49ers alongside Kyle Shanahan in 2017. He has been an assistant defensive backs coach, safeties coach, and currently serves as the DB coach for the Red & Gold.

The 49ers’ search for a new defensive coordinator is now in its second week after the team fired Steve Wilks on Feb. 14th. But with two weeks to go until the start of free agency, SF moving quickly is imperative.

Key offseason dates for the San Francisco 49ers

  • Tuesday, Feb. 27 – NFL Combine begins
  • Thursday, March 13 – The 2024 free agency signing period begins at 1 p.m. PST

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