Why Warner believes new 49ers DC Sorensen was ‘born’ for role

Why Warner believes new 49ers DC Sorensen was ‘born’ for role originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

As the 49ers continue their offseason preparations in the lead-up to the start of the 2024 NFL season, Fred Warner was full of praise for new defense coordinator Nick Sorensen and new assistant head coach Brandon Staley.

Speaking to the media during San Francisco’s mandatory minicamp, Warner was asked what he thought of Sorensen stepping into the defensive coordinator role and his new relationship with Staley.

“I feel like Nick [Sorensen] was born for this role,” Warner said. “He’s a natural-born leader, we’ve seen that from the last few years of him doing the ball meeting in front of the team. Just the juice, the energy that he brings, he’s always well-prepared and he has a standard that he wants to continue to push for us as a defense.

“I think he’s been doing a great job and coach Staley has been awesome as well, I love just picking his brain, being able to talk about things with him, learning little things, just nuances of the game. And he’s not afraid to call me out in meetings when he sees a play of me where I’m not all the way on it.”

After the 49er’s Super Bowl LVIII loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, defensive coordinator Steve Wilks was let go and Sorensen was promoted.

After being let go as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, Staley was hired by San Francisco as assistant head coach. Known as a defensive guru, Staley is expected to help mentor Sorensen in his new role as well as help bolster the defense with his knowledge base.

San Francisco’s defense struggled last postseason, getting shredded for large portions of the divisional-round matchup against the Green Bay Packers and the NFC Championship Game against the Detroit Lions. In the Super Bowl against the Chiefs, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes ripped off a series of huge plays in overtime to score the game-winning touchdown.

These defensive struggles led to Wilks’ dismissal. Kyle Shanahan is hopeful that the coaching shakeup and the return of Talanoa Hufanga will vault the 49er’s defense back to its dominant position among the NFL’s elite.

With the majority of San Francisco’s starters returning for one last run at a championship before serious roster overhauls, the franchise looks to win that elusive sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy after coming up short last season.

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