When the 49ers hired Robert Saleh to be their Defensive Coordinator in 2017, he thought he was about to recreate the Legion of Boom in the Bay. But, the 49ers defense was terrible, and last year only had seven takeaways. This season they have two more takeaways per game, and the defense has to lead the team to an undefeated record. What changed? The 49ers moved away from the Seahawks cover 3 zone scheme and transitioned to a Wide nine defense under the guidance of newcomer Defensive Line coach Kris Kocurek. In the previous two seasons, the defense often played one high safety in the middle of the field, the Earl Thomas role, which made their defense very static. The wide 9, though difficult to deploy, has opened everything up for major success.
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