The San Francisco 49ers’ 2022 defense was one of the best units the NFL has seen in recent memory. Led by Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa, they destroyed offenses all the way to the NFC Championship Game. They will look to do the same under new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.
DeMeco Ryans, the 49ers’ defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, is now the head coach of the Houston Texans. The 49ers will have to adjust the style of new DC Steve Wilks but Bosa doesn’t expect big changes to come, according to Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports.
“I don’t think there’s going to be much of a change,” Bosa said, via Yahoo Sports. “I think from Kyle [Shanahan] down, there’s kind of an understanding of how we do things with Kris Kocurek as our d-line coach. There’s always ways to improve. But as a d-lineman, I’m happy to say that I’ll be doing pretty much very similar things to what I’ve done the last four years.”
Shanahan may be one of the more notable offensive gurus in football but he is still the 49ers’ head coach. His oversight is key to making sure the team operates well, including on the side of the ball he is less involved with.
The 49ers are no strangers to having to find new defensive coordinators. Ryans replaced Robert Salah before he left to become the head coach of the New York Jets. Unlike Ryans, who was previously a linebackers coach, Wilks comes from outside the organization, having spent last season with the Carolina Panthers. Still, the 49ers are correctly not worried about the transition.
Nick Bosa previously said that because the 49ers’ defense has “dogs at every level,” they can thrive no matter who leads them. With him spearheading the pass rush and having guys like Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Talanoa Hufanga, Charvarius Ward and new additions Javon Hargrave, Isaiah Oliver and Ji’Ayir Brown to back him up, the 49ers are still going to be a force to be reckoned with on defense.
Offensively, they have to figure out whether to go with Trey Lance or stick with Brock Purdy. Even with that quarterback controversy, they have what it takes to compete for the NFC crown.
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