NFL Rumors: 49ers Pursue Bill Belichick for Defensive Coordinator After Kyle Shanahan’s Endorsement

Published 02/29/2024, 7:45 AM EST

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After losing the Super Bowl LVIII to Kansas City, Kyle Shanahan said that his coaching staff wouldn’t suffer any changes. But just 3 days later,  the 49ers  fired DC Steve Wilks due to a mismatch with the team’s defensive scheme and postseason performance issues. Head Coach Kyle cited the need for a better scheme fit and player preparedness as reasons for the decision.

The 49ers have yet to announce Steve Wilks’ replacement. The Bay Area is abuzz with speculations. When HC Kyle was asked about finding a replacement, he mentioned they’d be exploring both options—inside and outside the building. He said, “We’ll do both. We’ve got some good coaches in here. I’m definitely going to look outside also.” With Shanahan open to external candidates, one intriguing possibility could be none other than Bill Belichick, who could bring in a new defensive scheme.

Well, the 49ers’ interest in Belichick isn’t new. Shanahan showed admiration for him a few years ago, hinting at a potential hire. Now, it appears they’re actively pursuing him for the role. However, the ball is in Belichick’s court, as Shanahan mentioned previously. With all head coaching positions filled for the upcoming season, Belichick would have to consider an assistant role if he intends to coach in 2024.


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In 2018, Shanahan had expressed a strong desire to hire Belichick if he became available, suggesting he’d pull out all the stops to bring him on board. The 49ers HC had said, “I mean, if Bill Belichick became available two weeks from now and said he wants to come here, and I was told I had to let someone go to bring him in, that would probably be a smart decision to do that. I’m not going to ever say that everyone is just totally safe forever.“

As of now, Bill hasn’t joined any team as HC after parting ways with the Patriots. So he’s got the year off and the 49ers need a defensive coordinator. Belichick could go to Santa Clara, coach the San Francisco 49ers defense, maybe win a Super Bowl, and then reenter the head-coaching market next year.

Even if it’s a brief stint, contributing to a Super Bowl victory next year would make his time in San Francisco worth it. But the Niners defense will be in for a major shakeup should Belichick come on board.

Belichick could bring in a new defensive schema


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Belichick’s extensive coaching career in the NFL, spanning back to 1975, makes it plausible that he might consider coaching again this year. Should the 49ers pursue Belichick, it could signal potential changes to the team’s defensive scheme. While Shanahan has expressed a commitment to the 4-3 defense, he remains open to exploring alternative strategies that could optimize the team’s performance in 2024.

USA Today via Reuters

Less than a year ago, Kyle had even approached Tom Brady for a QB role in San Francisco. You can’t say he’s not willing to try all options to help his team, however unlikely the outcome may be. Earlier this week HC interviewed the former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley and 49ers defensive passing game specialist Nick Sorensen for the DC position.


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A few more interviews are on the horizon, but only time will reveal if they get their desire fulfilled by getting Bill on board. What do you think? Will Bill Belichick join the 49ers? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Jakso James


One take at a time

Jakso James is an NFL Writer at EssentiallySports. Jakso’s analysis takes a reader around the league with a look at the player strategies and stats. An ardent football lover himself, he developed a strong connection with the Denver Broncos as he witnessed Russell Wilson break the barriers.
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Edited by:

Garima Yadav