In January, the 49ers quietly hired Kris Kocurek to be the new defensive line coach. I had never heard of the guy, but he is one of the most respected line coaches in the game, Jimmy Fartsalot notwithstanding. In his 8 years as the D line coach of the Detroit Lions, he led them to 250 sacks. 4th in the league during that stretch. His stint in Miami last year just prompted him to get the hell out of Dodge as fast as possible and get to a promising team.
His defensive scheme employs the wide nine alignment for one or both DEs in passing downs. If you don’t know what it is, wide nine puts the DE well outside the tackle, or TE (if there is a TE lined up on that side). All this does is isolate the DE on the tackle thus negating double teams from the guard on that side. Although offenses can chip with an RB in the backfield.
This certainly favors fast quick DEs, and with the addition of Kwon Alexander (I know, an LB), Dee Ford, and now Nick Bosa, the Niners have the edge guys to use the scheme to their advantage. The key to this working is of course speed. With Fred Warner in there as well, there is a lot of speed in our LB corps and our ends.
Throw in Lane Kiffin’s smarter younger brother Chris working on the pass rush as well, and the hope is this defense really gets after all these mobile QBs in our division, let alone the rest of the league.
I expect this defense to be vastly improved, or Saleh is hitting the bricks. no excuses now.