Although nothing has officially come down, the general word appears to be that Stanford defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will be one of the assistants Jim Harbaugh brings over to the 49ers. Adam Schefter tweeted about it on Saturday and I've seen nothing to indicate otherwise at this point. Cardinal OC David Shaw has been mentioned as a potential replacement for Harbaugh, but the same has not been said about Fangio.
I've posted Fangio's coaching career timeline after the jump, but to get a really solid breakdown, I urge you to read Matt Barrows' post about Fangio. He provides some detail about his various stops in order to help us figure out what Fangio could bring to the table. The basic premise of Barrows' post is comparing Fangio to current Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers. The two of them have worked together extensively and appears to prefer the 3-4 defense.
There have long been complaints about the 49ers' blitzing, or lack thereof, and it appears that would potentially be rectified by the addition of Fangio as defensive coordinator. One has to wonder if this potential will be used to sell free agent Manny Lawson on returning to the 49ers. After all, in a 3-4 defense an outside linebacker can rack up some crazy sack totals.
The 49ers defense's major problem was on the passing side. They held opposing running backs under 100 yards every game this past season but it didn't really matter since the pass defense couldn't hold up its end of the bargain. The team could use an upgrade in talent, but one has to wonder if adjusting the scheme to be more aggressive might make a difference. This applies to bringing more blitzes, but also keeping your cornerbacks a little closer to the line with tighter coverage. Why back off and just give up 10+ yards when you can get aggressive?
Will a new defensive coordinator be the difference? Does it not matter without an upgrade in talent? I'm guessing many of you view it as a mix of both?
1979-81 Dunmore H.S. Linebackers/Defensive Coordinator
1982 Milford Academy Defensive Coordinator
1983 North Carolina Graduate Assistant
1984-85 Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars (USFL) Defensive Assistant
1986-94 New Orleans Saint Linebackers
1995-98 Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator
1999-01 Indianapolis Colts Defensive Coordinator
2002-05 Houston Texans Defensive Coordinator
2006-08 Baltimore Ravens Special Assistant to Head Coach
2009 Baltimore Ravens Special Assistant to Head Coach/Linebackers