Nothing's official yet, but according to Matt Maiocco, Jim O'Neil will be joining the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff in the role of defensive coordinator. O'neil's last stop was in Cleveland where he had a top 10 ranked defense in 2014 that regressed to 29th this season. It can be argued that the regression was due to injuries, but it's all in the eye of the beholder. Give this SI.com article a read for the other side of the coin on this debate.
Prior to Cleveland, O'neil had stops in Buffalo and New York (Jets) as the linebackers and assistant defensive backs coach respectively. He's also done some things in the college ranks for as long as 2001.
With Chip Kelly, known for his fast, uptempo offense, defensive coordinator has been the big variable. If O'Neil can condition his defense to keep up with the offense is an interesting question and there will definitely be a lot of speculation in the coming months on if they can or can't keep up. Earlier this week, Oscar Aparicio looked at Football Outsiders efficiency metrics and what they actually say about Chip Kelly defenses.
We'll have more on the hire shortly and an updated list of the 49ers coaching staff. In the meantime, what do you all think of the hire?