49ers candidate No. 2: Kris Kocurek, Defensive Line coach
If the linebackers are the reliable cogs of the engine that keeps the motor of the 49ers defense running smoothly, the defensive line is the motor that revs hard and often and immediately grabs your attention.
Led by the crown jewel of the Niners defense in EDGE Nick Bosa, the defensive line needs to be consistent in being able to rush the passer with only four to allow the other seven defenders back in coverage. The ability to create pressure without blitzing is an integral part of the defensive scheme.
When DeMeco Ryans took over from former defensive coordinator Robert Saleh when the latter left to become the head coach of the New York Jets, Ryans’ familiarity with the scheme meant that not a lot was changed. Defensive line coach Kris Kocurek has done his job, with the 49ers tied for 10th in the NFL with 44 sacks despite missing defensive tackle Arik Armstead for a good chunk of the season.
Obviously, the Niners would probably not see any scheme changes from the Wide 9 scheme they prefer.
Similar to Johnny Holland, Kocurek makes a lot of sense as someone who can be an excellent hire from within for the 49ers.