The San Francisco 49ers are set to interview Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson for a similar position on Chip Kelly's coaching staff. Ian Rapoport reported the interest, and Matt Maiocco followed up with word of a Tuesday interview. This comes the same day the 49ers are interviewing Houston Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel for their defensive coordinator job.
Nickerson has spent the last two seasons coaching linebackers for the Bucs. Nickerson retired from the NFL following the 2002 season. He joined Lovie Smith's Chicago Bears staff as linebackers coach in 2007. He resigned following the season due to health issues in his family. In 2010, Nickerson took over as head football coach at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland. He spent four seasons there, winning back-to-back league titles.
It's never easy to assess position coach candidates. One thing we can say with Nickerson is that he was a heck of a linebacker during his playing days. He went to five Pro Bowls, was named All-Pro four times, and was named to the All-90s team as voted on by Pro Football Hall of Fame voters. Whether that translates fully into coaching is something we'll learn, but he would seem to have a solid resume to be involved with linebackers.