ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has formally accepted the defensive coordinator position for the Miami Dolphins.
The longer Fangio waited to sign the dotted line, the more it felt like he’d return to San Francisco. But this could be as simple as Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was willing to pay more than Jed York.
On Wednesday, Kyle Shanahan said this about what he’s looking for in a potential replacement for DeMeco Ryans:
“I love the scheme that we run, and I feel the foundation we have on the D-line, at linebacker, at corner, at safety, I think our players fit very well in it too, so I’m hoping to find someone who fits with us personality-wise and scheme wise.”
That phrasing makes you wonder if Fangio had different ideas than Shanahan, who probably wasn’t fond of Nick Bosa dropping into coverage, even if it was for a few plays a game.
Aside from the continuity, I wouldn’t assume Shanahan and Fangio meshed like we might assume. When Fangio was the head coach for Denver, there were reports about Vic wouldn’t let the team play music.
It’s hard to believe Kyle is looking for something as simple as whether the potential candidate runs a 4-3. DeMeco had a specific plan, and once he got to third downs, he was going to blitz like a mad-man and run man-coverage behind it.
Ryans philosophy worked to perfection, so it wouldn’t be surprising to know that Shanahan is looking for somebody to come in and pick up where DeMeco left off.
Here’s more from Shanahan on what he’s looking for in a potential candidate:
“I love our defensive staff, I love our defense. I’m trying to get something where we don’t have to turn much over. I would love to keep our same staff, so I’m going to talk to some guys on our staff. I’m going to talk to some guys outside of our staff and hopefully whichever way we decide to go, whether we bring in a new guy or not, that it’s someone who can work with who we have and what we’ve accomplished here.”
The current candidates are former Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks and Commanders defensive backs coach Chris Harris.
When Shanahan used the term personality-wise, Wilks came to mind. He’s strong-willed, inarguably a great communicator based on Carolina’s second half success, and they ran a similar scheme.
Wilks also has head coaching experience along with multiple years as a defensive coordinator, which gives him a leg-up on Harris, who is a promising candidate, just hasn’t done it before. If you’re Shanahan, do you turn the keys over to a coach with no coordinator experience? Unlikely.