The San Francisco 49ers defense has some serious issues. The pass rush showed some improvement on Sunday, but the run defense was the worst we have seen to date. The unit gave up 312 yards, and there were few answers for the problems.
After the game, head coach Chip Kelly talked about the team’s struggles in the run defense week-after-week. He pointed to the missed tackles, but also discussed the need to review the film. Here is what he had to say, which you can watch at the 1:00 mark here.
“That’s a really good question, Cam. I don’t know. I know there were a lot of missed tackles today, just from my vantage point from the sideline. But you gotta look at the film, see where the fits were. See where are we, were we spilling the ball where it’s supposed to be spilled, and when we’re spilling the ball, do we have guys there to make plays that can make plays.
“But just looking from the sideline, there were still some instances where you knew you were playing against a good back, you gotta swarm tackle him and get around him. Get a lot of guys to the ball, that’s what we talked about during the week. And you gotta wrap up when you get there. And we didn’t do a good job.
“I think the plays with Taylor were specific, looked a lot like Russell Wilson where he kept plays alive with his feet. When it looks like we’ve got a chance to get him clean for a sack, now we’re getting him off the field. And when we’re not getting him off the field, he gets to extend the play. He made some real big plays on scrambles. So, trying to contain Tyrod was difficult for us today.”
He does not seem to have a lot of answers, and even with the film review, the lack of talent right now is what stands out. But, if the run defense continues to struggle, at what point do we see a change at defensive coordinator? Jim O’Neil has raised eyebrows with some of his decision-making, but some blame also goes to the lack of depth on defense.
There are arguments to be made about putting defenders in a better position to succeed. I think there are limitations to this defense right now, but that being said, do we potentially see a change in the DC role if the group doesn’t improve? Whether you want to blame it on the DC or the talent, it seems unlikely that the 49ers would not make some kind of change between now and the end of the season.
There are only so many lineup permutations the 49ers can put out there with the current roster. It feels like the odds are only going to increase that Jim O’Neil gets fired.
So, here is a poll to get your thoughts. What happens with defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil?