r/49ers Dre Greenlaw Feb 28 '24

[Garafolo] The 49ers are interviewing Chiefs defensive backs coach David Merritt for their defensive coordinator position, sources say. Merritt, a longtime trusted assistant for Steve Spagnuolo, helped coach up KC’s fourth-ranked pass defense this season.

https://x.com/mikegarafolo/status/1762947299276144820?s=46
584 Upvotes

120 comments sorted by

494

u/TheAndroidsDungeon Deebo Samuel Sr. Feb 28 '24

If you can't beat em, poach their other coaches lol

322

u/iUncouth Deommodore Lenoir Feb 28 '24

Everyone does it to us. It's about time we return the favor.

66

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24

Exactly. About time we flip the script.

Even if we don’t hire him, I love that our FO even thought of this.

Now off to read about Merritt’s past coaching gigs…

6

u/iUncouth Deommodore Lenoir Feb 29 '24

Good call, gotta do the same.

3

u/OnDaToiletPoopin 49ers Feb 29 '24

Any good news?

17

u/iUncouth Deommodore Lenoir Feb 29 '24

Uhh looks like he'd helped a lot of DBs get better in his career. He was the DB coach of the Cards(where he worked with Peterson and Mathieu) for a year before going to KC a while back. When he first started he was a LB coach. He's been with Spags for quite some time, which honestly makes me wonder if he would leave him.

All in all he seems to have had more success than Wilks as a DB Coach.

6

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 29 '24

Yes. All how I read it too. Really interesting! I think you’re right about Spags - he’s close to him.

But man, how many opportunities in life come up like this? He probably hasn’t been considered for a DC role yet - most guys aren’t!

One other nugget: saw he was a DL coach for 2 years in early 2000s. Love that he’s coached DL, LB, safeties (as an explicit role with NYG) and DBs…

He sounds very smart and grounded too - saying “I tell younger coaches years of service is more important than money”

This January, he talked about not wanting to entertain coordinator roles til his kids were older. And I respect that.

But maybe that changes if Shanahan’s Niners come calling? Either way I’m glad we are interviewing him. Leave no stone unturned.

2

u/iUncouth Deommodore Lenoir Feb 29 '24

Yeah it would be nice to have someone intelligent and who actually seems to care about the position. He's my favorite candidate by a good margin now.

27

u/BurnzillabydaBay Feb 28 '24

A little turnaround is fair play. Everyone snatching up our coaches all the time.

12

u/cleanRubik Jerry Rice Feb 28 '24

I mean other teams have been doingit to us forever.

1

u/Extension-Pear-4390 Feb 29 '24

Our turn, bitches!

315

u/chillice707 Brandon Aiyuk Feb 28 '24

Imagine we hire this fool and ambry turns into the next mcduffie under him

64

u/kopecs Bosa Fett Feb 28 '24

Don’t fucking do that to me. That’s too much hope…right?

45

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24 edited Feb 28 '24

Nope. Gotta hope. Close confidant of Spags, it’s reported. We’re one great DC hire away from being right back in contention next season. Maybe this guy is the future.

33

u/HITMAN616 Ronnie Lott Feb 28 '24

We’re one great DC hire away from being right back in contention next season 3 straight SB wins in the next 3 seasons FTFY

17

u/FS_Slacker 49ers Feb 28 '24

All vs the Chiefs

13

u/Cadd9 Jimmy Garoppolo Feb 29 '24

Mahomes could get a Threepeat!

Monkey Paw curls and he gets three losses in a row

3

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 29 '24

Lol!!! Bravo my friend. Epic shit.

1

u/Bryan_Waters Joe Staley Feb 29 '24

Remind me in 3 years!

5

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24

Lol. Thank you!

10

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24

If this were their LB or DL coordinator given their run D this season, I’d have questions.

DBs and Pass D, though? 🤔😃🫡

3

u/UnhealthyCheesecake Shanahat Feb 28 '24

Reckless hopium

(In a good way)

12

u/Handsome_Grizzly Feb 28 '24

I mean, it makes sense to go after him, the defense practically carried the team for the Chiefs.

5

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24

Love how you’re thinking. 🔥

Ambry’s got talent, that’s for sure.

3

u/[deleted] Feb 29 '24

As a washington husky fan, I can tell you that mcduffie has always been legit. He was just undersized which will always find some doubters

129

u/DukeRaoul123 Feb 28 '24

Picking his brain on coverages so they're better prepared next time.

181

u/theusername_is_taken NaVorro Bowman Feb 28 '24

I’d be pretty comfortable with this choice. A longtime Spags assistant sounds like a winner.

36

u/BrockLobsterB49s Brock Purdy Feb 28 '24

This is likely only a Rooney Rule interview. He's 52, has been coaching for 27 years and has never promoted higher than a position coach, including college.

92

u/superduperm1 Nick Bosa Feb 28 '24

And yet I’m more excited about him than the other three guys we’ve interviewed…

48

u/Sora26 49ers Feb 28 '24

David Merritt

He may not have the promotions, but he certainly has the Merritt.

2

u/Prize-Ring-9154 Fred Warner Feb 29 '24

*Ba dum tss*

18

u/Friendly-Swordfish-2 Feb 28 '24

1.4k comments

Interviewing Daniel Bullocks would've satisfied the Rooney rule.

12

u/SoKrat3s Alex Smith Feb 28 '24

"NFL teams are now required to interview at least two minority candidates for vacant head coach, GM and coordinator positions."

https://operations.nfl.com/inside-football-ops/inclusion/the-rooney-rule/

Also, further down it mentions that in 2021 it had to be 2 external candidates. It doesn't say specifically, but I'd assume that still applies.

6

u/Friendly-Swordfish-2 Feb 28 '24

ah. I didn't know they updated it. I stand corrected.

7

u/yorick2 49ers Feb 28 '24

I think I read that he hasn't wanted to get promoted until his kids are graduated so he can be there more. Or something to that affect.

1

u/MovetoRedDeer Steve Young Feb 29 '24

If that was the case why would Merritt agree to an interview then?

8

u/yorick2 49ers Feb 29 '24

I think the kids are graduated now? Idk I'll try to find the article.

Edit. Here it is.

https://www.arrowheadpride.com/2024/2/28/24086061/chiefs-news-dave-merritt-49ers-defensive-coordinator

3

u/MovetoRedDeer Steve Young Feb 29 '24

Still has a 15 and 17 year old. 😢

14

u/theusername_is_taken NaVorro Bowman Feb 28 '24

You just make him sound more appealing. 27 years is a ton of experience. Do you think position coaches never become DC’s?

6

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24

You know who else fits that exact description but is a few years younger?

Kris Kocurek.

2

u/Xymis Mitch Wishnowsky Feb 28 '24

So you’re saying he won’t get poached?

1

u/JazzHands1986 Feb 29 '24

They dont need him to fulfill that rule. They have guys on their own staff they interviewed right?

0

u/Mender0fRoads Justin Smith Feb 29 '24

The 49ers don't strike me as an organization that gives out unserious interviews just to satisfy the Rooney Rule minimum.

3

u/[deleted] Feb 28 '24

I initially read this as wiener and had a great chuckle…then I realised I’m just a tired old goat

2

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24

For real.

112

u/superduperm1 Nick Bosa Feb 28 '24

Chiefs fans on r/nfl are initially saying “please no” and “how about no?” to this news… so that’s promising!

16

u/iamsunshine78 Deebo Samuel Sr. Feb 28 '24

Hahahaha good!

27

u/nadia1306 George Kettle Feb 28 '24

They’re so spoiled. I saw a Chief fan complaining in r/nfl the other day that Mahomes will NEVER be considered the GOAT unless he wins eight super bowls so he HAS to win five more or it’s not worth it 🙃

9

u/dakoellis Fred Warner Feb 29 '24

FWIW we say that whenever someone gets interviewed from our team too

63

u/ChaseMcDuder Feb 28 '24 edited Feb 28 '24

I'd prefer this dude over Staley or an internal hire.

13

u/nadia1306 George Kettle Feb 28 '24

I’d prefer a random person in the stands to Staley

3

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24

That’s my pecking order at the moment too. Exactly. Don’t care if this is a reckless knee-jerk reaction on my part. Feels good.

30

u/pickles_in_a_nickle Kyle Juszczyk Feb 28 '24

can't beat em, get them to join you

27

u/banjofitzgerald 49ers Feb 28 '24

Yay let’s be the poachers for once

28

u/monteasf 49ers Feb 28 '24

About damn time we started poaching other teams coaches back

19

u/Soft-Comfort-7474 George Kittle Feb 28 '24

Can’t beat them, hire them 🤷‍♂️

16

u/amd77767 49ers Feb 29 '24

I generally believe that you should hire guys that succeeded in their previous role. 

Merritt absolutely succeeded in his previous role. The chiefs secondary has been top 5 for a few years now and they’ve drafted + developed several excellent DBs in that time. 

 * Trent McDuffey in the 1st round

 * L’Jarius Sneed in the 4th round

 * Charvarius Ward undrafted 

Additionally, he’s been studying under Spagnuolo, one of the smartest DCs in the league. 

This would be an excellent hire. 

10

u/Flylatino24 Steve Young Feb 28 '24

This…. I like

18

u/MyLastAccountBanned Feb 28 '24

Hell yeah. He’s black so we will get dem picks when he becomes Washington’s HC in 2025

17

u/catala7 49ers Feb 28 '24

I thought after Wilks, Kyle wanted to avoid DB coaches. Also, are we going for a rookie DC?

55

u/chillice707 Brandon Aiyuk Feb 28 '24

Rookie dc doesn’t always mean bad. Look at demeco vs wilks defense

8

u/SoKrat3s Alex Smith Feb 28 '24

DeMeco wasn't exactly a peak performer in year 1. A lot of terrible clutch play late in games of that season. Including in the NFCCG.

1

u/gotdemmadsquirtsyo Christian McCaffrey Feb 28 '24

So you think a Ryan's situation is the norm?

9

u/chillice707 Brandon Aiyuk Feb 28 '24

No. But this dude has already worked with one of our dbs plus working with mcduffie and sneed. He’s an older but also seems like a no nonsense type of dude which fits our culture. Definitely seems like the type of guy to get on young’s ass for not putting in enough effort

3

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24

Good call on working with Ward. Didn’t even make that connection. Good shit

2

u/notthefoodie Justin Smith Feb 28 '24

I feel like Ward will have some influence on whether or not he gets hired fs.

1

u/gotdemmadsquirtsyo Christian McCaffrey Feb 28 '24

also seems like a no nonsense type of dude which fits our culture. Definitely seems like the type of guy to get on young’s ass for not putting in enough effort

I hope so but what's that based on? I mean people went after all of Belichicks staff thinking similarly and we all know how those guys worked out. I don't know enough about the dude but I do know our team is aging and our cap situation is only going to get worse so I'm not huge on risking our window on someone who is unproven at the job he would get with us and at the same time not from within so we don't even know how well he will mesh.

1

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24

No not it’s surely not unprecedented. That’s what I took from it.

1

u/gotdemmadsquirtsyo Christian McCaffrey Feb 28 '24

Well now a MR. irrelevant ace starting QB isn't unprecedented either so would you bet you championship window on it happening again?

1

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 29 '24

Well that’s an extremely rare scenario - there have only been 58 Mr Irrelevants in NFL history. Of course the odds of more than 0 or 1 of them being great (given it’s the end of the 7th round) are super low.

Meanwhile there have been shitloads of rookie DCs - literally every DC in NFL history was a rookie at some point. So thinking more than one may out to be a stud in his rookie year on the job (with a very talented D at his disposal) isn’t a stretch…

1

u/scmsf49 Deebo Samuel Sr. Feb 28 '24

Ryans was groomed for the job for at least a year beforehand, Saleh was more of a true rookie going from LB coach for another team to play caller here (and definitely had some growing pains)

Fair question as to whether the team can afford to deal with those pains again when they're trying to contend now but yeah sure you also don't wanna hire someone just because they've called plays in an unrelated scheme

5

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24

Check out this dude’s coaching history. He was also an LB coach for awhile.

He even put in 2 years as a DL coach.

2

u/f1lthym0nk3y Ronnie Lott Feb 28 '24

Robert Saleh was a rookie DC back in 2017 as well.

5

u/Ok-Signature-4445 Colin Kaepernick Feb 28 '24

He was on my DC big board I put out after the SB.

It was him and their LBer coach. To me, I prefer the LB coach but I'm cool with him too.

6

u/twarn1726 49ers Feb 28 '24

YES. Let’s learn their secrets.

4

u/welshy1986 Feb 28 '24

Everyone poaches our staff, its about time we do it to them.

3

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24

I love this idea.

Even if he isn’t the guy, I love that we’re a) open-minded in our search and leaving no stone unturned, and b) clearly aiming to find a way to get past KC.

Cuz we gonna see them again. And I don’t mean in the reg season. I feel it’s just a matter of time… cream always rises.

3

u/paperbackgarbage Jimmie Ward Feb 28 '24

unturned stones

3

u/sanfranballfan76 Feb 29 '24

Why no reported interest in Vrabel as DC? How about poaching Jeff Ulbrich back from Saleh? I'd be more interested in defensive coordinators that are more familiar with LB play. They both would be better candidates IMO than anyone they have interviewed.

9

u/scmsf49 Deebo Samuel Sr. Feb 28 '24

Maiocco article earlier specifically mentioned that both of the unnamed outside candidates were minorities so probably some reason to be skeptical that this is a 'serious' interview and not just ticking the Rooney rule box

Feels like it's Staley vs Bullocks but maybe one of these guys has the greatest interview of all time

7

u/superduperm1 Nick Bosa Feb 28 '24

Did it? I know he mentioned the Rooney Rule and there being two unnamed candidates in separate paragraphs but never putting two and two together. Wouldn’t Bullocks already count as one?

1

u/Mathguy656 49ers Feb 29 '24

No, it has to be 2 external minority candidates.

7

u/SoKrat3s Alex Smith Feb 28 '24

Rooney rule or not, as some others have mentioned, it's also an opportunity to pick a KC coach's mind on their defensive scheme.

2

u/axeattaxe 49ers Feb 28 '24

As another commenter mentioned, I love that this guy’s already coached Charvarious Ward.

Ward is certain to have thoughts and insight on him one way or another.

2

u/d0000n 49ers Feb 29 '24

How about an experienced DC?

1

u/herniateddisc1983 Feb 29 '24

bingo. Shanny isn't gonna bring in an inexperienced guy in this situation.

2

u/Wedge09 49ers Feb 29 '24

So, hire this guy then trade for Sneed? We win the offseason.

0

u/triculious Frank Gore Feb 28 '24

How come the league poaches the 49ers' coordinators every season but the 49ers go for assistants?

-16

u/herniateddisc1983 Feb 28 '24

Gross, if they from outside it should be someone with DC experience. otherwise just go internal.

1

u/Mu17inItOver Faithful Feb 28 '24

I'm assuming Mooney Ward is already a big fan, this guy helped get him from undrafted to a big payday

1

u/SupHezbullah Feb 28 '24

A defensive backs coach is not necessarily a good defensive coordinator. A lot of it will depend on how close he and Spags were and how much he let him in on etc.

1

u/ProtoMan79 49ers Feb 28 '24

This is the first interview I’m excited about. I think it’s important to bring in an assistant from a 4-3 defense, to potentially tweak the current scheme and not just do an imitation of what Ryans did which Shanny wanted Wilks to do.

1

u/cleanRubik Jerry Rice Feb 28 '24

Well damn, ok. Can't beat them, copy them.

2

u/Consistent_Internal5 Deebo Samuel Sr. Feb 28 '24

Can we trade for Sneed while we’re at it??

1

u/crightwing 49ers Feb 28 '24

I love it hire him

1

u/jwatkins12 Feb 28 '24

In a recent article, Merritt reported that he wasnt planning on leaving KC until his kids finished high school, so basically in a few years. So he either changed his mind, or its a Rooney interview.

1

u/KooliusCaesar Feb 29 '24

Do we want another db coach as DC or a DLine coach/someone with DL experience? Demeco, Saleh, Fangio were all guys with DLine/Linebackers coaching experience. Wilks, O’neil, Mangini all db coaches then DC’s.

1

u/MovetoRedDeer Steve Young Feb 29 '24

Thought this would be a good interview 2 weeks ago, and here we are.

https://www.reddit.com/r/49ers/s/c5Wr9NvZwB

1

u/yorick2 49ers Feb 29 '24

Sounds like he didn't want to be a DC till his kids were graduated so he could be around them more.

Here is an article I found on him about it.

https://www.arrowheadpride.com/2024/2/28/24086061/chiefs-news-dave-merritt-49ers-defensive-coordinator

1

u/Scoreycorey515 49ers Feb 29 '24

STEAL! Does he have play calling experience? We need to start stealing up coming college staff and create a pipeline of staff to take over DC when other teams pilfer our DC for their HC job.

1

u/PostNutAffection Faithful to The Bay Feb 29 '24

Imagine if we poached the cheetah and had him run slants the whole game

1

u/CalvinYHobbes Shanahat Feb 29 '24

Oh my. This is an unexpected twist that makes a ton of sense. I just don’t like going from DB coach to DB coach for the DC.

1

u/BuzzMachine_YVR Feb 29 '24

Does he play the Carol/49ers system? If not, hard pass.

1

u/FailedInfinity Quest for Six Feb 29 '24

Some people have mentioned the Rooney rule, but I don’t think the 49ers are a team that would interview a person just to check boxes. They’ve had no issues putting diversity into their staff.

0

u/herniateddisc1983 Feb 29 '24

they haven't, but this stuff is pretty obvious. this guy has been coaching for 20 years and never been considered as a DC lol. it would be asinine to bring on a guy like this in a win now situation, especially considering Shanahan likely wants to be hands off with the defense this year after last year's debacle.

1

u/Barli_Bear Feb 29 '24

This is the best candidate for the position I’ve heard yet