Adam Schefter tweeted yesterday that Jim Harbaugh was likely going to name Stanford defensive coordinator Vic Fangio his new defensive coordinator with the 49ers at some point. This isn’t the most shocking news at this point as it has been speculated since Harbaugh’s name was first attached with the 49ers.
The 49ers current defensive coordinator is Greg Manusky. He interviewed for the Carolina Panthers head coach position. Ron Rivera is apparently the early leader after apparently getting a second interview. Even if Manusky does not get the job, it sounds like he probably will not be around in 2011 with the 49ers defense. The defense took a step back in 2010 after a strong 2009 showing. Football Outsiders ranked the 49ers defense 13th overall this past season and 4th overall the season before.
The big difference was due to an incredibly poor performance in pass defense. The 49ers saw a decrease in sacks from 44 to 36. That averages out to half a sack per game, but the struggles went beyond that. The secondary struggled across the board. The corners had their struggles, but one could argue it was poor safety performance on the back end that was the real cause of the problems. Either way, the defense needs some kind of upgrade.