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49ers hire Jim O’Neil as defensive coordinator 

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The San Francisco 49ers finally have found their defensive coordinator. New head coach Chip Kelly had hired former Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil to the same position.

CSN Bay Area‘s Matt Maiocco was the first to report the news. O’Neil comes on board after Mike Vrabel, the Houston Texans linebackers coach, turned down the job.

O’Neill was the defensive coordinator on Mike Pettine‘s staff for the past two seasons. This past season, the Browns were 29th in the NFL in points allowed.

Last season, in Pettine’s first season, the Browns had the 9th-best defense in points allowed.

This is a change for O’Neil, who has worked with Pettine during his previous three stops in the NFL. Besides the Browns, the two also worked together with the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets.

Also, O’Neil is close to the Pettine family, as he played high school football with his father in Pennsylvania.

As the new defensive coordinator, he’ll be in charge of helping the team improve from last season’s results under former defensive coordinator Eric Mangini. O’Neil will have to understand that his defensive unit will have to be asked to be on the field more as Kelly is going to use an uptempo offensive scheme.

In two of Kelly’s three seasons, his defensive unit under former defensive coordinator Billy Davis was on the field for the most plays in the league. In the year that thy weren’t first, they were second.

Besides O’Neil being hired by Kelly, the team had also hired Jeff Nelson as their tight end coach. He comes to the team as the former Miami Dolphins running backs coach.

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About Anthony Caruso III (8647 Articles)
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report.

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