clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tim Kawakami talks defense with Vic Fangio, Donte Whitner

We take a look at a pair of interesting interviews that help us better understand 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron and James do a good job getting you the daily links, but there are two stories I wanted to pull out of recent Nuggets for your perusal. You may have read them, you may have completely missed them, but either way they're worth a look.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News gets crap from various fans for his takes on their teams. He has his opinions, and he is not bashful about them. However, whatever your opinion of him, when he gets sit-down interviews, he does a very solid job getting coaches and players to open up on a variety of topics.

Yesterday, Kawakami posted a pair of interviews he conducted with important parts of the 49ers defense. In the morning, he posted a transcript from a Q&A with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Later in the day, he posted a Q&A with Donte Whitner, in which they discussed Fangio and his approach to the team. I highly recommend reading both of these Q&As.

These interviews combine together to give us more insight into the mind of Vic Fangio. I think this is worth drawing out in part because of Fangio's rather frank assessment of cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. He basically said the team was still unsure where exactly Nnamdi stood in his efforts with the defense. Fangio said Nnamdi has had some very solid days, and other days where they weren't sure he had much left. He basically said the jury was still out on Nnamdi.

We've been trying to figure out whether Fangio is being brutally honest, or whether he might be trying to either give Nnamdi a kick in the butt, or provide a bit more confidence to some of the younger cornerbacks. Based on the two Q&As above, it seems like we are just looking at a brutally frank assessment. This is something where we'll get a better idea this Thursday against the Broncos, and throughout the remainder of the preseason.

We've also had some discussions at times about Fangio's future as a coach. Greg Roman is constantly on the radar for head coaching positions, while Fangio seems to fly under the radar. Kawakami asked Fangio if he ever thought about becoming a head coach, and if that was a goal of his. Fangio responded:

If it presented itself, I would certainly be interested and love to do it. But it's not something that I never become one that it will be an empty hole in my career, per se.

I thoroughly enjoy the job I have. I like working here, I like working with these players, I like working in this organization.

To me, I'm content with what I have. If somebody has an interest, they think I fit what they're looking for, I certainly would be interested in it.

But I'm not one to go out and see how many times I can get my name in the paper or have a network going or an underground working. Whether it's right or wrong, I came into this league when you just did your job and either you were recognized or not by the people that were hiring.

I've been told by many people I've got to change, but it's been ingrained. So I'm going to continue to do my job as good as I can and hopefully if somebody thinks I fit what they're looking for, then maybe it would work.

This is probably the least surprising response we could imagine. He just is what he is, and you're not going to change him. Tim Kawakami described him as a "straight-shooter", and that would seem to sum him up well.

It's an interesting dichotomy with the public persona Jim Harbaugh presents to the media. As Kawakami pointed out, Harbaugh is all about the positives, and generally does not look to paint any of his players in a negative light with the media. Fangio is not out to blast anybody, but he is not concerned with applying kid gloves to players.