SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers have no defensive coordinator -- yet -- but their defensive staff is filling fast. According to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, head coach Chip Kelly has hired former Browns secondary coach Jeff Hafley for the same job with the 49ers.
The team already is considering ex-Browns defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil as a candidate to run the defense. He, 49ers outside linebackers coach Jason Tarver and perhaps others are being considered for what is widely perceived to be Kelly’s most critical hire.
The Browns finished 27th in overall defense last year; their pass defense finished 22nd. Cleveland tied for 22nd with 11 interceptions. The 49ers had nine.
The 49ers have yet to announce any assistant coach signings save running backs coach Tom Rathman. Here, however, is the projected flow chart:
Coordinator: Curtis Modkins (Lions)
Quarterbacks: Ryan Day (Eagles)
Offensive line: Pat Flaherty (Giants), ass't Eric Wolford (49ers)
Receivers: Bob Bicknell (Eagles)
Running backs: Tom Rathman (49ers)
Tight ends: Jeff Nixon? (Dolphins)
Coordinator: Jim O'Neil (Browns), Jason Tarver (49ers), other
Defensive line: Jerry Azzinaro (Eagles)
Inside linebackers: Hardy Nickerson (Buccaneers)
Outside linebackers: Tarver?
Secondary: Jeff Hafley (Browns)
Coordinator: Derius Swinton (Bears)