New 49ers coach Chip Kelly has hired former Browns defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil to fill the same position in San Francisco, a source tells Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. O’Neil was chosen over 49ers outside linebackers coach Jason Tarver, who will stay on board with the same title.
Last year, the 49ers ranked 29th in the NFL in yards allowed and placed 18th in the league in points allowed at 24.2 points per game under the watch of Eric Mangini. Under O’Neil, the Browns were top ten in yards allowed and scoring under O’Neil in 2014, but they plummeted towards the cellar last season. Cleveland ranked 27th in yards allowed and 29th in points allowed in 2015 and new head coach Hue Jackson opted to let him go upon taking over this offseason.
In his three seasons as Eagles head coach, Kelly’s teams had defend more plays than any other squad in the NFL. The Eagles faced a league-high 1,148 plays last season and Kelly will need one heck of a defense if things unfold similarly for the 49ers this year.
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