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49ers request permission to interview former Panthers' interim head coach Steve Wilks

Kyle Shanahan has identified a potential DeMeco Ryans successor, along with two other options

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

According to multiple reporters (Josina Anderson/Aaron Wilson/Mike Garafolo), the 49ers are planning to speak to Steve Wilks for their potential defensive coordinator.

According to Anderson, the 49ers also intend to speak with Vic Fangio, as well as Washington Commanders defensive backs coach Chris Harris.

After a 1-4 start under Matt Rhule, the Carolina Panthers finished the season 6—6 under the interim Wilks. Carolina likely makes the playoffs if wide receiver D.J. Moore doesn’t take his helmet off in the end zone on October 30. Instead, Wilks found himself on the chopping block.

The 49ers have all the talent in the world and will remain effective, no matter who is at coordinator. What separates coaching at the NFL level are the ones that excel at communication and leadership. Judging by the difference in the Panthers play under Wilks, it’s easy to see how he’d thrive with the 49ers.

Harris has been with Washington since 2020. He served as the Chargers assistant secondary coach from 2016-19. The Bears and Titans have sought after Harris’s services in recent weeks as a potential defensive coordinator.