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Colin Cowherd: The Real Reason Why the 49ers Had to Fire Steve Wilks

Colin Cowherd: “Steve Wilks took a lot of the criticism [for the Super Bowl LVIII loss], and it didn’t appear Kyle Shanahan was overjoyed and happy in the second half when he had to burn a timeout because Steve Wilks’ defense was aligned too obviously. I think it’s more this...
The previous two San Francisco defensive coordinators were very intense, 'rah-rah', motivational, inspirational -- Robert Saleh and DeMeco Ryans. Steve Wilks isn’t that, he’s much more stoic. San Francisco doesn’t ‘run’, they ‘read’ complicated schemes. It’s that Seahawks ‘Cover Three’, they don’t blitz exotically, they just line dudes up -- ‘WE’RE BETTER THAN YOU’, ‘WE’RE GOING TO BE AGGRESSIVE AND GO AFTER YOUR QUARTERBACK’... So, maybe the motivation game after game – Saleh, DeMeco Ryans – provided that.
Kyle Shanahan IS stoic. So San Francisco is probably always going to be better served with somebody on the other side of the ball who is a little bit of a yeller and highly intense. If you look at the Rams, Sean McVay has HUGE energy, yet his defensive coordinators – a Brandon Staley, a Raheem Morris – are more chill. Dan Campbell in Detroit comes out swinging and works very well with Ben Johnson, who is more cerebral. DeMeco Ryans, former player, chest out, alpha, big energy... Bobby Slowik, academic, quiet – his offensive coordinator. Steve Wilks, like Shanahan, would rather bury his head in a playsheet, that’s who he is, and the best staffs are often a mix.
A couple years ago when Philadelphia got to a Super Bowl you had Nick Sirianni yelling at fans, he’s yelling at refs, he’s yelling at anybody, but Jonathan Gannon and Shane Steichen were very reflective, and very chill. Jim Harbaugh’s staffs – he provides the intensity, and everybody else is a notch less. Nick Saban at Alabama was an older defensive coach barking constantly... His best coordinators were younger, more chill – Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian.
Steve Wilks has gotten a lot of jobs in his career but I never thought this was a great fit. In that Super Bowl when Shanahan had to burn a timeout, you could tell he wasn’t happy. In the biggest games and in the biggest moments you can’t make a mistake, and it looked like Shanahan thought Steve Wilks had with his alignment, so they make a move.” 

Watch Colin Cowherd of FS1’s The Herd explain why he thinks the San Francisco 49ers surprisingly parted ways with defensive coordinator Steve Wilks after just one season, despite the Niners ranking 3rd in the NFL for the fewest points allowed, and 8th in total defense. 

Check out the segment above as Colin details why he never thought Wilks was a ‘great fit’ in San Francisco, and why his energy level didn’t match up with other successful Niners DC’s the likes of Robert Saleh and DeMeco Ryans.

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