San Francisco 49ers make a big hire at defensive coordinator

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97). Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97). Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

On Tuesday, the San Francisco 49ers made a significant move in replacing DeMeco Ryans when they hired Steve Wilks to take his place as the DC.  This is a great move for the team who lost arguably the best DC in the business when Ryans jumped for Houston.

Now, Steve Wilks joins the fold and gets to take over what was the best overall unit in the NFL in 2022.  Wilks was named the interim head coach of the Carolina Panthers after Matt Rhule was fired.  He led the team to a 6-6 finish and it became abundantly clear the kind of impact he had on that team.

The Panthers ended the season 7-10 and were just one game out of the win column for the NFC South division title.  After not retaining Wilks, the Panthers decided to hire Frank Reich as their next head coach, who then brought in Ejiro Evero as their defensive coordinator.

Wilks heads to the NFC West where he’ll have the luxury of working with stellar players like Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, and a bunch of others.

Wilks began his coaching career in 1995 and served primarily as either a defensive coordinator or a defensive backs coach.  He was a “one and done” head coach in 2018 with the Arizona Cardinals, and many people believe that he did not get a fair shot there.

He reappeared in the NFL this year after a one year stint as the DC at Missouri and hopped on staff with Matt Rhule in Carolina in 2022.

Kyle Shanahan has gone from Robert Saleh, to DeMeco Ryans, to Steve Wilks.  Both Saleh and Ryans got themselves head coaching jobs, so Wilks is nicely positioned to do just that again.

The Shanahan tree is seeming to be rather successful in the NFL, so Wilks is in a great place.

The 49ers are wasting no time trying to get back to the NFC Championship game and obviously have their sights set on winning a Super Bowl.