Shanahan says 49ers interviewed Staley, Sorensen for DC job

Shanahan says 49ers interviewed Staley, Sorensen for DC job originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Coach Kyle Shanahan has completed two official interviews for the 49ers’ defensive coordinator position and “should finish it all up this week,” he told NBC Sports Bay Area via text message Monday.

The 49ers have completed interviews with former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley and 49ers defensive passing game specialist Nick Sorensen, Shanahan said.

The opening was created when Steve Wilks was fired as defensive coordinator after just one season with the 49ers. Wilks replaced DeMeco Ryans, who became head coach of the Houston Texans.

Daniel Bullocks, the 49ers’ defensive backs coach, is expected to interview for the vacant position later in the week, Shanahan confirmed.

The 49ers are likely to interview at least two other coaches from outside the building later in the week, though Shanahan did not reveal which other outside candidates are being considered for the position.

NFL rules require clubs to interview at least two minority candidates for all coordinator positions.

Shanahan’s search for a defensive coordinator is in its second week after he informed Wilks on Feb. 14 of his decision to end their union.

The move was made three days after the 49ers’ 25-22 overtime loss in Super Bowl LVIII to the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I felt pretty strongly that this was the decision that was best for our organization,” Shanahan explained while announcing his decision. “And even though it was one I didn’t want to make, it was something that once I realized that I think a different direction is what’s best for organization, then it’s something that I have to do.”

Shanahan and the 49ers’ coaching staff are again not traveling to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week. General manager John Lynch and the scouting department are attending the combine while the coaches remain in Santa Clara to continue their work.

Staley, 41, was fired after compiling a 24-25 record, including 0-1 in the playoffs, in three seasons as Chargers head coach.

The Chargers hired Staley in 2020 after he spent just one season as Sean McVay's defensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams.

Staley’s only previous NFL coaching experience came as outside linebackers coach with Chicago (2017-18) and Denver (2019).

Sorensen, 45, originally joined the 49ers’ staff in 2022 in the position of defensive assistant. He was promoted to defensive passing game specialist/nickel backs last year.

Sorensen spent the previous season as special teams coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Before his stint with the Jaguars,Sorensen spent eight seasons on Pete Carroll’s staff with the Seattle Seahawks as a special teams assistant (2013-16), secondary coach (2017-19) and secondary coach/nickel specialist (2020).

Bullocks, 40, has been with the 49ers since Shanahan’s arrival in 2017. He started out as assistant defensive backs coach for two seasons before moving to safeties coach from 2019 to ’22 before moving into his current role.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast