49ers must be stoked at hiring former Seahawks rival to coaching staff

The Niners made a notable coaching hire on Monday by adding former Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright to their staff.

Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright (50)
Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright (50) / Abbie Parr/GettyImages

There are plenty of former Seahawks in the 49ers' coaching ranks, and K.J. Wright now joins the fray as an excellent offseason addition.

Despite the heated NFC West rivalry between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, there's no denying the fact that plenty of players and coaches have gone back and forth between the two franchises over the years.

Of course, the most notable could be perennial All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, who was once the Niners' No. 1 villain before going turncoat and joining San Francisco in 2018 en route to being beloved by the greater 49ers fanbase.

But there are plenty of others, too. Current Niners special teams coordinator Brian Schneider had that role with the Hawks, while new defensive coordinator Nick Sorensen got his NFL coaching career started up in Seattle, too.

Now, there's yet another name from the Seahawks' ranks added to San Francisco's coaching tree.

Former Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright announces he's joining 49ers staff

On Monday, former Hawks linebacker K.J. Wright declared on YouTube that the 49ers were hiring him to their coaching staff.

"I am thoroughly excited," Wright revealed in his announcement. "I am really happy for this opportunity. I'm really happy for the Niners organization believing in me and trusting in me with their franchise. I've been competing against those guys since day one. My first NFL game was against the Niners."

Wright, who entered the league as a fourth-round NFL Draft pick of Seattle back in 2011, will be San Francisco's new assistant linebackers/defensive quality control coach after a 10-year career that ended in 2021, almost entirely with the Seahawks.

During that span, Wright played in 161 games, started 148 of them and made 992 tackles, had 11 forced fumbles, 54 passes broken up and six interceptions while making it to one Pro Bowl in 2016.

Why K.J. Wright is an ideal fit as 49ers coach

Wright was one of the more respected veterans within the Hawks' locker room over the years, and that kind of prowess will be important to the 49ers' own core of backers in Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw.

Prior to recently fired Steve Wilks, the Niners' previous two defensive coordinators, Robert Saleh and DeMeco Ryans, both specialized with linebackers. Saleh also stemmed from Seattle's coaching tree, while like Wright, Ryans also boasted a successful career as a player.

San Francisco's revised coaching staff now includes Sorensen and former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley. Staley does have prior experience coaching linebackers, but Sorensen is much more of a defensive backs coach.

Adding Wright to the mix, especially considering the 49ers adopted the same kind of defense in which he thrived with Seattle, helps maintain that continuity from previous coordinators while also adding a voice who isn't too far removed from his playing days.

With a Super Bowl win to boot, Wright makes more than enough sense for the Niners and should bolster a coaching group that underwent plenty of changes already this offseason.

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