Fred Warner Explains What He Likes ABout New 49ers DC Nick Sorensen

What makes Sorensen a better fit for the job than Wilks? Fred Warner answered that question on Monday.
Feb 8, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner (54) during a press
Feb 8, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner (54) during a press / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

SANTA CLARA -- When the 49ers fired Steve Wilks this offseason and promoted his underling, Nick Sorensen, to defensive coordinator, lots of people wondered why.

What makes Sorensen a better fit for the job than Wilks? Fred Warner answered that question on Monday.

"I really like Nick," Warner said. "Having played the game for a long time, he knows a lot of ball. I think he did a great job the last couple years of doing the ball meeting. People talk about how important the ball is around here, taking the ball away, protecting it on offense. He was the one who ran that meeting and did such a good job with it apart from doing his job on defense. He has that leadership ability to be able to stand in front of a group and command the room. So I think he's going to do a great job. I'm really excited about him."

Let's recap Warner's points: He likes Sorensen because he played in the NFL for a decade, he's responsible for the 49ers' uptick in takeaways the past couple years and the players respect him. As opposed to Wilks, who didn't play in the NFL, apparently wasn't responsible for the increase in takeaways and didn't seem to ever have the respect of the 49ers players.

"It helps that he knows the system and has been around it," Warner continued. "We just have to get better at the fundamentals and technique of what we do as well as implementing some tweaks in there as well, because we have been running the same thing for a long time. Teams know what we're running. We're not afraid of that. But there do have to be some tweaks in there to make sure that we are switching things up a little bit, and I think Nick is going to do an amazing job."

We'll see how amazing Sorensen really does, but for now, he seems to have buy-in from his players, which couldn't hurt.


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Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN