49ers rumors say Kyle Shanahan will fill defensive coordinator role 'from within'

Perhaps the reason why there's been no smoke surrounding the 49ers' search for a new defensive coordinator is because that smoke has been kept entirely within the building.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Multiple reports add to the speculation that the 49ers will promote from within regarding their defensive coordinator vacancy.

The San Francisco 49ers could potentially be naming a new defensive coordinator to replace Steve Wilks, who was ousted recently after just one season at the helm of the team's defense.

There have been multiple reports suggesting the Niners are getting close to naming someone.

Earlier this week, The Athletic's Tim Kawakami reported that he was hearing San Francisco "might be closing in" on a new coordinator, which would certainly fit the timeline. Ideally, the 49ers would have someone in place prior to the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, which kicks off later this month, and before the start of the league new year (and free agency) in the middle of March.

That's not the only buzz surrounding the search either.

Michael Silver: NFL circles believe 49ers fill 'vacant DC opening from within'

Somewhat corroborating Kawakami's report, the San Francisco Chronicle's Michael Silver said on Wednesday that he's hearing buzz that head coach Kyle Shanahan will be looking to promote internally instead of bringing in an outside name:

Silver drops a subtle hint that might cross off some of the bigger names suggested to the 49ers, such as former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, Tennessee Titans former head coach Mike Vrabel and even the Seattle Seahawks' former head coach, Pete Carroll.

The hint? "Feel free to dream those big dreams..."

It's understandable. Big-name coaches frequently have their own agents, and agents are often the ones leaking information to reporters in order to create "bidding wars" for their client's services. Given the almost-absent presence of reports about the Niners conducting interviews, honing in on a specific candidate and whatnot, it would make sense if Shanahan and Co. were keeping things entirely internal.

That potentially means San Francisco could name someone like defensive backs coach Daniel Bullocks, linebackers coach Johnny Holland or perhaps even defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, the latter having a reputation for not wanting a coordinator role but staying in his current stead.

Of course, there is still always the possibility that the 49ers announce an outside name that completely rebuffs what Silver had to say.

Until whatever point, though, speculation reigns supreme.

Read more from Niner Noise