Sunday, July 21, 2024

49ers sack Wilks after SB 58 meltdown

The San Francisco 49ers have sacked defensive coordinator Steve Wilks just days after losing the Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime.

“This morning I relieved Steve Wilks of his duties,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We’re going to end up making a change here at defensive coordinator. A really tough decision, because it really says nothing about Steve as a man or as a football coach. I mean, he’s exactly what we wanted as a man. He is a great football coach.”

“But just where we’re going and where we’re at with our team from a scheme standpoint and things like that, looking through it all throughout the year to these last few days, I felt pretty strongly that this was a decision that was best for the organization.”

49ers looking for a scapegoat?

Under Wilks leadership the 49ers defence ranked third in points-allowed (17.5) and fifth in takeaways including a league leading 22 interceptions. He had be tasked with maintaining the same system used under previous defensive coordinators Robert Saleh and DeMeco Ryans rather than installing his own scheme.

“I knew that was a challenge,” Shanahan said. “It was real tough losing DeMeco. It was tough losing Saleh the year before. We had committed to not just the system, but the players that had been in the system, from our D-line or linebackers. They had played in it for such a long time.

“It was my goal to not have to change all of them, and bringing in Steve, who was unbelievable how loyal he was and him trying to do it, but it just ended up not being the right fit. And it hurt for me to do this, but that’s exactly why I had to.”

This marks the second time San Francisco has lost a 10-point lead in a Super Bowl versus Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. During the closing stages of Sundays finale Shanahan appeared to call a timeout and overrule Wilks’ play call.

Whether this will take the scrutiny off of Shanahan’s decision to receive the opening kickoff in OT and settle for a field goal remains to be seen.

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