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Report: Vic Fangio is interested in returning to the NFL as a coordinator

A possible reunion?

San Francisco 49ers v Denver Broncos Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The 49ers have an embarrassment of riches on defense. It starts up front with Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead — two players who should be in the running as first-team All-Pros in 2022. The Niners are also expecting big things from former first-round pick Javon Kinlaw. Add in the depth, and you have the deepest defensive line in the league.

The second level might be even better with a healthy Dre Greenlaw and the addition of Samuel Womack, who seems like the playmaker the team needs in the slot. It’s a big if, but if the cornerbacks stay healthy, we could be looking at one of the more dominant defenses in the NFL.

And that’s before we talk about the coaching staff led by defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. San Francisco is set up to succeed in 2022, which would lead to another round of head coaching interviews for Ryans. The Niners will need a new defensive coordinator if that's the case.

Chris Tomasson, who covers the Vikings, reported that Vic Fangio has an interest in returning to the NFL after taking this season off: “We’ll see where things stand and develop and what’s available to see if I’m a good match for somebody, but it’s definitely a possibility, probably as a coordinator.”

There’s no denying Fangio’s influence around the NFL. Look no further than Brandon Staley, who helped transform the Rams' defense. Fangio’s stint with the 49ers last decade was one of the most impressive runs of any defensive coordinator during that time.

When I think of Fangio, I think of an aggressive play-caller that confuses the opponent. Some 49er fans may be hesitant as they recall Fangio living in zone coverage or running a 3-4 scheme.

You don’t have to worry about Bosa standing up or being out of position. Fangio isn’t dumb. He understands the Niners' personnel. Sure, there will be differences from what Ryans does, but he’s not going to come in and try to reinvent the wheel of a top-5 defense.

If you remember, Fangio spent time on a Friday this summer watching the 49ers minicamp. You don’t do that if your interest isn’t piqued. It’s a no-brainer for me. You’re not going to find a more accomplished name, a better fit, or someone who could command the players' attention better than Fangio.

What do you think? Is Fangio married to the 3-4? I’m not sure he’d run that same scheme this time.