The San Francisco 49ers will apparently have a new special teams coordinator in 2016, according to Matt Barrows. The 49ers beat writer is reporting the team will hire Chicago Bears assistant special teams coach Derius Swinton to replace Thomas McGaughey.
This past season, the 49ers ranked No. 27 in Rick Gosselin's extensive special teams rankings, and also Football Outsiders special teams rankings. In comparison, the Bears ranked No. 12 in Gosselin's rankings, and No. 21 in FO's rankings. FO ranked the Bears last by a wide margin in kickoff coverage, which dragged them down considerably. They had positive marks from FO for FG/XP, kick returns, and punt coverage, and a moderately negative punt return grade.
It's hard to really assess Swinton's work, other than looking at the rankings. As an assistant, who knows exactly what he's involved in on a day-to-day basis. The 49ers special teams struggled, but there is some talent there. The coverage units will be intriguing to follow next year once we get through an offseason of free agency and the draft.
2015: Chicago Bears - Special Teams assistant
2013-2014: Denver Broncos - Special Teams assistant
2012: Kansas City Chiefs - Special Teams quality control
2009-2011: St. Louis Rams - Special Teams quality control
2007-2008: Tennessee - Defensive Graduate Assistant