The 49ers plan to hire one of their former players, Aubrayo Franklin, as a defensive assistant, a league source said Tuesday.
Franklin, 34, played nose tackle for the 49ers from 2007-10 and became a favorite of his position coach at the time, Jim Tomsula. He finished his career with Indianapolis in 2013.
Tomsula and the 49ers are not looking at Franklin to be the defensive line coach but rather to apprentice under a more experienced coach at that spot. Defensive line is one of the areas Tomsula has yet to fill on his staff.
The team had considered another former player, Bryant Young, in the role of defensive line coach. Young, however, last year left his job as the University of Florida’s defensive line coach to deal with a family matter.
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The 49ers may be without two long-time starters on the defensive line in 2015. The team dismissed left defensive end Ray McDonald in December. His counterpart on the right side, Justin Smith, is contemplating retirement.
The 49ers new defensive coordinator, Eric Mangini, is expected to run a 3-4 scheme, although he has run 4-3 alignments in the past as well.
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