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Report: 49ers add to defensive staff with hiring of Undlin

NBC Sports
Cory Undlin

DeMeco Ryans will have an experienced staff around him in his first season as 49ers defensive coordinator.

The 49ers recently hired former Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher as a defensive assistant, sources confirm to NBC Sports Bay Area.

And the club also is bringing in former Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Cory Undlin as a passing game specialist/secondary coach, Field Yates of ESPN reported on Friday.

Undlin spent one season with the Lions after serving most of the past decade as an NFL defensive backs coach in  Cleveland, Jacksonville, Denver and Philadelphia.

Ryans, 36, was promoted to 49ers defensive coordinator after being on the team’s staff the past four years. He served the last three seasons as linebackers coach under Robert Saleh.

Undlin, 49, entered the NFL as a defensive assistant with the New England Patriots. The 49ers will be his seventh NFL team. He was defensive backs coach in 2015 with the Philadelphia Eagles when Ryans was in his final season as an NFL player.

The 49ers have also hired former NFL player Darryl Tapp as assistant defensive line coach, a source confirmed. He played for six NFL teams from 2006 to 2017. Tapp played two years with the Lions (2014-15), where 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek was his position coach. 

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Tapp, 36, coached at Central Michigan, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech the past three seasons. He fills the position vacated when Aaron Whitecotton joined Saleh’s staff with the New York Jets.

Bettcher, 42, ran an aggressive 3-4 defense with the Arizona Cardinals from 2015 to ’17. His defense with the Cardinals ranked in the top six in total defense each of his three seasons before he served as Giants defensive coordinator for two years.


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