SF 49ers: 3 best replacements for Robert Saleh if he leaves in 2021
By Peter Panacy
SF 49ers Defensive Coordinator Candidate No. 3: Kris Kocurek
One of the easiest moves the SF 49ers could make it by looking internally at their own staff, promoting defensive line coach Kris Kocurek to a defensive coordinator role.
Kocurek is known for turning down such offers already, though one could wonder if an in-house promotion might be a bit different. Like Robert Saleh, Kocurek’s fiery personality wouldn’t be lost on the players, and his prior rapport with members of the defensive line could only be maximized.
Especially considering the D-line is expected to be the Niners’ top defensive strength entering 2021.
Speaking of that unit, particularly in light of all the injuries San Francisco has suffered, Football Outsiders ranks it 12th best in the league despite being without key contributors like Nick Bosa and Dee Ford for the vast majority of the season. Kocurek has managed to get the most of a former castoff player, EDGE Kerry Hyder, turning him into the SF 49ers’ leading sack specialist with 5.5 over 10 games played.
Plus, Kocurek has the benefit of already understanding each unit’s greatest strengths and weaknesses, coming up with effective game plans to maximize the bonuses while curtailing the vulnerabilities.
He’d be a seamless hire. If he accepted it, of course.