The San Francisco 49ers moved quickly to replace assistant Joe Woods, bringing aboard former Dolphins defensive backs coach Tony Oden to fill the same role in 2020.
It didn’t take long for the San Francisco 49ers to find a likable replacement for their former defensive backs coach, Joe Woods, who left for the vacant Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator spot under newly hired head coach Kevin Stefanski.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Niners will replace Woods with former Miami Dolphins defensive backs coach Tony Oden.
Rapoport reported the news Monday morning:
Oden started as an assistant with the Houston Texans back in 2004, and in 2006, he joined the New Orleans Saints staff and was part of that team’s Super Bowl XLIV championship back in 2009.
Oden then spent 2012 and 2013 as a defensive backs coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively, before joining the Detroit Lions staff in 2014.
That connection in Detroit could have fostered the 49ers move here, as current San Francisco defensive line coach Kris Kocurek was in the same role with the Lions. Both Kocurek and Oden were part of the Dolphins organization in 2018, too.
The 16-plus years of coaching experience surely will benefit San Francisco, which saw a massive uptick in production from the secondary in 2019 compared to an otherwise lowly year in 2018. While a potent pass rush was a big reason why, the 49ers defense ultimately finished allowing both the fewest pass yards in the league and lowest net yards per pass attempt.
Perhaps the idea is a similar connection between the pass rush, under Kocurek, and the secondary, now under Oden, will flourish heading into 2020.
While it’s mere speculation, one can wonder if the Niners are also potentially building a coaching tree as a possible long-term line of succession under defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
Saleh, who also interviewed for the Browns head-coaching vacancy, ultimately lost the position to Stefanski. Given how well San Francisco’s defense performed last season, though, one has to assume Saleh is en route to a coaching job sooner than later.
Maybe Kocurek, whose defensive line flourished in 2018, is favored to be a possible replacement, while Oden moves to defensive coordinator.
But that’s a question for much further down the road. Meanwhile, the 49ers land an experienced assistant with a Super Bowl championship under his belt.