On Friday, the San Francisco 49ers interviewed former Miami Dolphins defensive backs coach Tony Oden. That must have gone well as Monday morning NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the Niners had hired Oden as their new secondary coach. Oden fills the sport formerly occupied by Joe Woods, who has become the Cleveland Browns, defensive coordinator. Oden has some familiarity with the staff, so that may have helped him land a job in San Francisco. He worked with 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek on two occasions with the Dolphins and previously with the Detroit Lions. If Kocurek gave Oden, the co-sign, that’s likely why the process to bring Oden on board didn’t take too long.
Here is what we wrote Friday about Oden:
Oden spent the last two seasons as the Miami Dolphins defensive backs coach and the previous four as the cornerback’s coach for the Detroit Lions. Oden has never been a coordinator but has worked in the NFL since 2004. Before Miami hired him, Oden’s secondaries had ranked in the top-five in the NFL in interceptions in three of previous five seasons (2013-14, 2017.)
That success continued last season, despite having a young secondary, as Miami finished with 13 interceptions on the season, which is one more than San Francisco. If we’re going by results, Oden feels like a much better candidate than former Cowboys and Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard, who has been linked to the Niners. We’ll see if teams continue to poach coaches from the 49ers staff. Turnover is expected with the roster and the staff, and the front office is faced with the challenge of replacing the talent they’re losing.
Oden is a well-respected coach that is known for teaching fundamentals and technique. Let’s see if he can bring the same eye for scheme that Woods brought to the team. In results based business, Oden makes sense over Richard.