Thursday afternoon, there were a couple reports that former Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver was joining Jim Tomsula's staff with the San Francisco 49ers. After that report came out, there were some conflicting reports that the two sides were talking but nothing was hammered out. Matt Barrows is now reporting Tarver is interviewing for the team's vacant defensive coordinator position.
Tarver was connected to the 49ers back on Wednesday, and it would seem this is just a relatively slow process to play out. The 49ers parted ways with pretty much all of their defensive coaches (well, minus Jim Tomsula), and have slowly worked their way forward to get a staff together.
Tarver was the Raiders defensive coordinator the last three seasons, and the Stanford defensive coordinator the year before. In his time with the Raiders, the team has been in the bottom few spots for points allowed. This is not exactly shocking given their overall lack of talent on both sides of the ball. People point to their improvement in some basic yardage counting stats, but those don't really tell us a whole lot. Here is a look at their Football Outsiders DVOA rankings starting in 2011 (the year before he joined). It is broken down by overall defense, pass defense, run defense.
2011: 27th, 23rd, 31st
2012: 20th, 30th, 24th
2013: 26th, 29th, 18th
2014: 26th, 28th, 13th
That is not exactly inspiring, but we will do plenty more research into Tarver and what he has done in Oakland. If he does end up getting the defensive coordinator role, we will then turn to see what kind of assistants join Tarver on the defensive side of the ball.
Matt Barrows conducted a chat this afternoon, and he was asked what other candidates were out there for the defensive side of the ball. He did not know of any specific candidates aside from Tarver, but did suggest Eric Mangini was one of several good potential coordinators available. Mangini served as the 49ers tight ends coach this last season, but his history is on the defensive side of the ball. I still don't know if he was a Baalke or Harbaugh guy, but if he was a Baalke guy, maybe he ends up sticking around. Washington interviewed Mangini (along with Vic Fangio) for their defensive coordinator role, but with several head coach openings still available, more DC opportunities will develop.