The 49ers haven’t seen the last of Vic Fangio.
Their former defensive coordinator has accepted a job with the Bears, whom the 49ers will visit during the 2015 season. Chicago finished 30th in total defense in 2014. The 49ers finished 5th.
The Bears also could end up hiring Ed Donatell as their secondary coach, although nothing is official at this point, a source said. Chicago fired head coach Marc Trestman and his staff last month and replaced him with ex-Broncos coach John Fox. Trestman was passed over for the Raiders offensive coordinator opening; he could be a candidate in San Francisco.
The 49ers have yet to hire an offensive or defensive coordinator. The only known interview they’ve had is with former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver.
Fangio was believed to be leaning toward a job in Washington because, with an offensive-minded head coach there, he would have free reign on defense like he did with the 49ers. Instead he chose Chicago and Fox, who is a former defensive coordinator himself.
In four years, Fangio never fielded a defense that ranked below No. 5 in the league, including this season when injuries and suspensions ravaged the unit. General manager Trent Baalke was asked last week why a successful defensive staff was let go when all of them were under contract for another season.
“There were discussions that were had throughout this process. I’m not going to get into all the specifics of each of those discussions. But, it’s just safe to assume that throughout those discussions we came to this conclusion. We feel very good about moving forward. We feel very good about the plan that we have moving forward, very confident in Jim (Tomsula) and his abilities to pull that side of the ball together just as we do the entire staff. When you hire a head coach you’re hiring one man. One man can’t do this job. And I think Jim recognizes that as we all do. It’s going to take the village and it’s going to take a number of quality coaches to fill those roles. We’re in that process right now. Jim’s been working tirelessly. I don’t know if he’s slept last night. If he did he was texting me at 3:30 this morning. But, it’s a process that we’re going through. We’re going to find the best coaches we can possibly find. There’s no shortage of good coaches out there and there’s no shortage of good coaches that want to be a part of the San Francisco 49ers. And now it’s our job to go out there and find them and I feel confident that we’re going to be able to do that.”
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.