49ers defensive coordinator candidate drags 49ers offense for Super Bowl performance

The 49ers interviewed Chiefs defensive backs coach Dave Merritt for their defensive coordinator opening. If he winds up getting the job, Merritt may have some making up to do with some of the the 49ers’ offensive players.

In a radio interview with the Sports Shop in North Carolina, Merritt threw some haymakers at the 49ers’ offense while talking about Steve Wilks’ firing.

Merritt’s words may come across as harsh, but he was making the (correct) point that Wilks wouldn’t have been fired for just one game, and that his ouster had to have been part of a bigger picture problem.

“Their offense went 3-for-12 on third down,” Merritt said. “Our offense went 9-for-19, but if your offense is going 3-for-12 on third down, is that Wilks’ fault? If your tight end who’s All-Pro, Kittle, only has one catch for four yards, is that Wilks’ fault? Therefore, you can feed McCaffrey all you want to, but he needs help. And then number 11, who was trying to fight all game, Ako, whatever, I don’t know. He only had 40-something yards, was that Wilks’ fault?”

He used San Francisco’s rough offensive outing as evidence that their defense wasn’t the problem in the team’s Super Bowl loss. That’s a fine and fair argument to make, but it’s still not something the 49ers offensive players and staff will love to hear.

To make matters worse, Merritt didn’t know the name of 49ers leading receiver Brandon Aiyuk. That’s not uncommon among NFL coaches who typically refer to opposing players by number for clarity on tape and matchups, but still it’s just additional insult to injury after one of the most devastating losses in San Francisco history.

Story originally appeared on Niners Wire