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Transcript: Kyle Shanahan announces 49ers fire defensive coordinator Steve Wilks

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan announced the dismissal of defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and plans for a replacement.

The San Francisco 49ers held a surprise conference call with head coach Kyle Shanahan the day after he and general manager John Lynch spoke to the press. Shanahan announced that he had relieved former defensive coordinator Steve Wilks of his duties. He explained that it was a tough decision, but after careful consideration, he believed it was best for the organization. Shanahan expressed his respect for Wilks as a man and a coach, but felt that a different direction was needed for the team's defense. He mentioned that the decision was particularly challenging due to the team's commitment to its system and the players who had been part of it for many years. Shanahan said that they would consider both internal and external candidates to fill the position. He acknowledged that Wilks' background working with defensive backs may have contributed to the disconnect in the defensive system. Shanahan mentioned that he would consider various coaches, including defensive line coach Kris Kocurek and defensive backs coach Daniel Bullocks, for the job. He emphasized that he was committed to finding the best fit for the team, whether it meant sticking to their current system or adopting a new one. Shanahan also confirmed that several other coaches would be leaving to take on new opportunities with other teams, including James Cregg, Darryl Tapp, and Anthony Lynn. He assured that the energy level of the new defensive coordinator would not be a factor in his decision-making process. Shanahan concluded by stating that he had not yet spoken to the players about the change, but wanted to inform the media before the news spread through other channels.

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