When the San Francisco 49ers lost to the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, a few miscues stood out for them, but there was one that was especially painful.
Near the end of the first half, they went with a heavy blitz on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, and it left them undermanned in the backfield, allowing rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison to score a 60-yard touchdown.
New 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks made that call, and head coach Kyle Shanahan has said publicly that “he knows he messed up.”
Former player LeSean McCoy said on FS1’s “Speak” that Shanahan was right to call out Wilks and that it could ultimately be good for San Francisco.
.@CutOnDime25 has no problem with Kyle Shanahan criticizing his defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.
"If the head coach can own up to something he did wrong, why can't the player or the coach do it?" pic.twitter.com/TROZEtMDw5
— Speak (@SpeakOnFS1) October 26, 2023
Wilks has replaced DeMeco Ryans, the Niners’ previous defensive coordinator who is now the head coach of the Houston Texans, and the results this season have been mixed.
While the Niners have looked mighty at times, especially when they dismantled the Dallas Cowboys, 42-10, recently, their secondary has been vulnerable to big-yardage plays downfield, and their pass rush looks diminished compared to last year.
Last year, defensive end Nick Bosa had an NFL-high 18.5 sacks and won the Defensive Player of the Year award, but so far this year, he’s at just 2.5 sacks.
As a team, San Francisco failed to sack Cousins even once on Monday.
This weekend, they will face the Cincinnati Bengals, a team that may be getting its mojo back, and their defense will be tested against quarterback Joe Burrow and star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.NEXT: 49ers DC Reacts To Controversial Call Against Vikings