Now that the 49ers have settled, or are about to settle, their vacancies at GM and head coach, the team will move on to filling its coordinator positions. Two names have surfaced to potentially head up Kyle Shanahan‘s first San Francisco defense, Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores and likely Chargers hire Robert Saleh, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports (Twitter link, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com) and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).
Glazer reports Shanahan “will want” to talk to Flores about the DC vacancy. The two will coach against each other today, with Shanahan leading the Falcons’ offense for the final time. Rapoport notes Saleh is a candidate as well despite serving in a lower-profile capacity with the Jaguars the past three seasons.
Flores has not surfaced for any previous coordinator jobs this offseason and has spent one season as the Patriots’ linebackers instructor. However, the 35-year-old Flores has worked with the organization for 12 years — the past six as a defensive assistant. Previously, Flores coached New England’s safeties for four seasons before Steve Belichick took over that job, with Bill Belichick relocating Flores to the linebackers’ meetings. He does not have a connection to Shanahan since he’s spent his entire coaching career with the Patriots, but Saleh does.
The 38-year-old Saleh would make for an interesting candidate since he’s the likely choice to become the Chargers’ linebackers coach and follow Gus Bradley for a third time. He accompanied Bradley from Jacksonville to Los Angeles. The Bolts remain likely to hire Saleh as their linebackers coach, but he may have another higher-profile option. Saleh followed Bradley from Seattle to Jacksonville as well, but the duo initially worked together with the Texans during Shanahan’s time in Houston.
San Francisco previously targeted Bradley for this job, only he joined up with Anthony Lynn in Los Angeles after much consideration. The duo is vying to replace Jim O’Neil, who oversaw the league’s worst defense in 2016.
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