49ers Hire Ken Norton Jr.

The 49ers announced they have hired Ken Norton Jr. to the coaching staff. He’ll carry the title of Assistant Head Coach – Defense as well as inside linebackers coach. Ken Norton (vertical)

Norton was a popular figure in the Raiders’ locker room over the last three years, but poor on-field results led to his firing in November. At the time of his dismissal, the Raiders ranked 32nd in defensive DVOA. Of course, head coach Jack Del Rio was the one calling plays on defense, so it’s not necessarily fair to pin everything on Norton.

It’s a great fit for Norton on multiple levels. For one, he doesn’t have to move from his Bay Area home. The deal also marks a homecoming for Norton since he spent seven seasons with the Niners and played on three consecutive Super Bowl-winning teams.

In related news, Johnny Holland is the team’s new run game specialist/outside linebackers coach.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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