And the hits just keep on coming. Shortly after word got out that Jim Tomsula is going to be the next head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Cam Inman reported that a league source informed him Vic Fangio is not expected to remain as the team's defensive coordinator. He had another year left on his contract, but it is highly doubtful the 49ers will get in a situation where he is forced to stay on the staff.
Jim Tomsula faces a tough challenge right off the bat in replacing Fangio. Ed Donatell and Dennis Allen are two names likely to be mentioned, but both will have big shoes to fill with Fangio gone. I don't think Fangio is entirely irreplaceable, but obviously he has done great work for the team. The next defensive coordinator will not get the easy benefit of the doubt, particularly with questions about the unit as it moves into 2015. Justin Smith is considering retirement, NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis are coming off significant injuries, and the team could lose their starting cornerbacks to free agency. There is still a lot of talent with this group, but there are more questions than we have seen since Fangio came aboard in 2011.
The expected departure of Fangio only serves to underscore how important it will be for Tomsula to find quality coordinators. I am hoping for the best, but we'll see what the next few days bring in this regard.