The 49ers have hired Chris Kiffin, the son of acclaimed former defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, to their coaching staff.
Per Sports Illustrated, the younger Kiffin will be the team's pass-rush specialist. Kiffin previously had been the defensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic University where his brother, Lane, who once coached the Raiders, is the head coach.
The 49ers' pass rush was tepid in 2017 with the defense finishing with 30 sacks. Only five teams had fewer.
San Francisco's top pass rusher last season was 34-year-old Elvis Dumervil, who finished with 6 1/2 sacks. One of the issues was that while Dumervil brought steady pressure when he was in the game, he usually only entered the game in third-and-long situations and ended up playing 30 percent of the team's snaps.
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Dumervil is set to count $4.3 million against the salary cap and has a $500,000 option bonus due on March 13, one day before the start of free agency.
The 49ers have said that sharpening their edges on defense -- the defensive end, outside linebacker and cornerback positions -- is a priority this offseason. The team signed defensive end Cassius Marsh to a two-year deal earlier this month but likely will continue to upgrade the position.
Kiffin enters the defensive coaching staff as a long-time assistant, Jason Tarver, exits for a job as Vanderbilt's defensive coordinator. Tarver's title last season was senior defensive assistant, though his specialty was outside linebackers. He was partial to strong-side outside linebacker Eli Harold, who started 11 games last season and finished with two sacks.
Monte Kiffin, meanwhile, coached 49ers general manager John Lynch when Kiffin was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator and Lynch was a safety. Kiffin also served on the same staff as 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan when the latter was a quality control coach in Tampa Bay in 2004-05.