Training Camp Preview: Defensive Coaches
July 18 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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In the final article previewing the 49ers training camp, I take a look at the 49ers defensive coaches. The defense has improved tremendously over the past few years. It has received a youthful boost in talent and a key eye in evaluation by Bill Walsh has allowed the team to ‘trim the fat’ so to speak, and come through with one of the best up and coming defenses in the NFL.
Running the show is defensive coordinator Jim Mora Jr. who this season will relinquish the defensive back field coaching role to Brett Maxie. Mora has proved to be a better coordinator than coach, as the 49ers had always envisioned he would be. He has orchestrated one of fastest improving defenses the NFL has seen in quite some time. This off-season, he and his staff had the flexibility to install more defensive formations and work individually on defensive skills with players because of the leadership displayed by defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield. Mora should be able to bring a more tenacious defense to the field as the season kick’s off.
Chris Beake works very closely with all of the defensive coaches. As the defensive assistant Beake is well versed in all areas on the field. A versatile coach that has been instrumental in improving defensive cohesiveness.
Dwaine Board has his work cut out for him with the defensive line. Board was unable to get his players to generate much of a pass rush last season. But with Andre Carter having year under his belt, and the additions of Sean Moran and Jim Flanigan, Board is expected to do a much better job this season. A long time coach for the 49ers, Board should be able to meet the greater expectations the 49ers have for him this season.
As mentioned above, Brett Maxie was promoted from defensive backfield assistant to coach this off-season. The former 49ers defensive back should have no problem with the transition as he was practically running the show last season. Maxie has been effective in passing on his advanced experience to the 49ers young defensive backfield. He will have his work cut out for him, integrating newcomers Mike Rumph and Tony Parrish to the team, this summer.
Dan Quinn is in charge of defensive quality. As a coach, Quin’s job takes him everywhere. He is heavily involved throughout the defensive coaching staff. Quinn is a young but experienced coach in his second season with the 49ers, and will once again be a key figure in helping the 49ers evaluate players.
As linebacker coach, Richard Smith has one of the most talented groups on the 49ers to work with. He did a very good job last season replacing 66% of the linebacking core. This season, Smith will look for more production from the group. That will mean a greater emphasis of knowing their role, and making plays throughout this coming training camp.
The 49ers have a very strong set of coaches on both sides of the ball. The continuity of these coaches has played a big role in the 49ers ability to build back from the depths of the NFL. As the team enters training camp this weekend, the coaches will have their work cut out for them, putting together the best possible roster, and teaching the 49ers players how to take their games to the next level.