49ers rumors: Niners may have DeMeco Ryans replacement already lined up

DeMeco Ryans, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
DeMeco Ryans, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

With DeMeco Ryans reportedly the favorite for the Houston Texans’ head coaching job, the San Francisco 49ers have his replacement in mind.

The San Francisco 49ers fell one game short of reaching the Super Bowl for the second year in a row, as they lost 31-7 to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.

While the team will find ways to ensure they make it to the big game next season, they are likely going to be looking for another coordinator. Based on various reports, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is the favorite to be named the new Houston Texans head coach, and it could very well be finalized this week.

So, who would head coach Kyle Shanahan hire to fill the vacancy left by Ryans to lead San Francisco’s league-best defense?

Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle linked the 49ers to former Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio for their potential defensive coordinator opening.

Vic Fangio an option for 49ers defensive coordinator position?

Last week, there were reports indicating that Fangio had agreed to terms with the Miami Dolphins to be their defensive coordinator. The Dolphins brought Fangio in for an interview to replace Josh Boyer, who the team fired after the season.

As Silver mentions in his tweet above, Fangio told him that “nothing has been decided on [his] end” regarding the Dolphins defensive coordinator vacancy. 9News’ Mike Klis also mentioned that he spoke with Fangio, and reiterated that he has not finalized anything with the Dolphins.

The 49ers appear set to go three straight years with a top coordinator leaving for a head coaching job. In 2021, former defensive coordinator Robert Saleh accepted the New York Jets head coach position. Last year, offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel agreed to be the sideline boss for the Dolphins.

Now, based on reports, it seems likely that Ryans will become the head coach of the Texans, the team that drafted him in 2006. If the 49ers were to bring in Fangio as their defensive coordinator, it would be quite the get.

Prior to being the head coach of the Broncos from 2019 until 2021, Fangio spent time as a defensive coordinator for a variety of teams. Fangio was the defensive coordinator for the 49ers from 2011 until 2014 as part of head coach Jim Harbaugh’s staff. The defense under Fangio ranked near the top in each of his four years, in which they made it to the NFC Championship in the first three seasons.

While Fangio is linked to a potential 49ers opening at the defensive coordinator position, they have to wait and see if Ryans agrees to terms to become the Texans’ head coach first.

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