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49ers get to have it both ways, with Nick Sorensen and Brandon Staley on defensive staff

The 49ers could have hired Brandon Staley to be the next defensive coordinator. Instead, they’ll reportedly hire Staley, but without putting him in charge of the defense.

The coordinator reportedly will be Nick Sorensen, a veteran assistant schooled in the Seattle Cover 3 defense. It allows the 49ers to keep their current system. Staley allows them to augment it, as needed, with other tweaks and twists.

It remains to be seen how it works. The 49ers’ defensive coordinator job had become a launching pad for head coaches, with both Robert Saleh and DeMeco Ryans creating a coaching tree for Kyle Shanahan unrelated to his offensive expertise. Sorensen could be the next to become a head coach. Or he could be the next to be one and done, like Steve Wilks.

Especially if Saleh is fired by the Jets after the 2024 season, and if he’s interested in coming back to the 49ers.

For now, the 49ers will have it both ways. Staley will join the staff. Sorensen will run the defense. The broader goal continues to be getting back to the Super Bowl and winning it.