The San Francisco 49ers were always going to lose coaches from their staff after the success the team had this past season. The Niners had the top pass defense in the league, so the natural move was for the Cleveland Browns to hire passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach Joe Woods. That’s not the only Niners assistant that will be leaving. Pass-rush specialist Chris Kiffin is leaving San Francisco to be the Browns’ defensive line coach, per Alex Marvez of SiriusXM. Kiffin, whose dad is the legendary defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and brother to Lane, played a big part in the development of the 49ers defensive line. In his first offseason with San Francisco, Kiffin had already made an impact. DeForest Buckner said back in July of 2018 that Kiffin had been a huge addition to the coaching staff.
This year you would see Kiffin primarily working with the edge rushers on the team in practice. Kiffin had some unique ideas that I’ve never seen. He used a PVC pipe attached to the blocking sled with a string on the typical blocking sleds everyone so the defensive line could better their starts. I thought that was innovative. The 49ers hired Kiffin in 2018, where he previously worked for his brother lane as the defensive coordinator at FAU and spent five seasons with Ole Miss before that.
I don’t know much about Whitecotton other than the fact that he spent the past three seasons with the Bills and the last two as Buffalo’s assistant defensive line coaches. Luckily for Whitecotton, he walks into a situation where he has a vocal defensive line coach in Kris Kocurek, so he doesn’t have to worry about being the “rah-rah” guy. Also, the 49ers have the best edge rushers in the NFL.