Kyle Shanahan was sold on Nick Sorensen as defensive coordinator from the start

As soon as 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan fired defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, he “basically” already had in mind who was going to get the job.

Nick Sorensen was named the team’s new defensive coordinator after the 49ers went through their due diligence and complied with the Rooney Rule.

“I’ve been with him the last two years, mainly,” Shanahan said this week, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “When you’re with somebody, it’s not really an interview that changes it, it’s being with somebody in the building every day.

“I thought he was close last year to being ready, and I think he’s even more ready now.”

Sorensen joined the 49ers’ coaching staff in 2022 as a defensive assistant. He earned a promotion to defensive passing game/nickels coach last season.

Sorensen, 45, will call the plays on game day, but he will get help from former Chargers head coach and Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley.

“I just love where he’s at from a football mind,” Shanahan said of Sorensen. “Our players love him. He’s been talking to our team every Thursday, doing the ball [emphasis] meetings. Our players are used to him, and it’s a great opportunity for him. We’re happy to put him in this position.”

Sorensen previously has been a special teams coordinator in Jacksonville and a defensive backs coach in Seattle. He also played defensive back in the NFL for 10 years, spending time with the Dolphins, Rams, Jaguars and Browns.

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