Fred Warner

Why Bosa, Warner are confident 49ers' defense can return to form

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The 49ers’ defense aims to get back on track during the 2024 NFL season after regressing in 2023.

Stars Fred Warner and Nick Bosa believe San Francisco can do so, especially under the  newly appointed defensive coordinator Nick Sorenson and assistant head coach Brandon Staley.

Regarding Sorenson, Warner is confident that the 45-year-old coach will help the 49ers reach their in-house expectations.

“For me specifically, I do have the green dot, so I'm the one that's hearing that communication with the defensive coordinator,” Warner said Wednesday on the “Candlestick Chronicles” podcast with Kyle Madson and Chris Biderman on Wednesday. “That does take time to kind of develop that connection, and I know it's gonna be seamless with Nick. I think having him around the building these last couple of years has been awesome, you know. I love Nick. I love what he's about. Love the fact he's played the game for a long time. He understands ball. 

“He's a great leader and understands that we haven't played our best defense as of late and that we need to return to that. And so it's been crystal clear what the standard is moving forward. And, yeah, I'm really excited about it. I think it'll be a great hire and move going forward… for as long as I've been here, it's been about being the No. 1 defense and about dominating teams -- not just playing good here, playing good there."

Warner, always critical of his own game, also was quick to credit San Francisco’s efforts last season, even if they were subpar at times. 

But the three-time All-Pro linebacker wants the 49ers’ defense to be better than third in rushing yards per game (89.7) and 14th in passing yards per game (214.2) as they finished in 2023.

Ideally for San Francisco, having another experienced defensive mind like Staley can help Sorenson and Co. roll out a better product.

Bosa and Warner agree that the former Los Angeles Chargers head coach will add crucial knowledge to an already highly intelligent 49ers' defense.

“Just knowing the system from the front to the back, I think he knows how it ties in and he has been around with some really good coaches,” Bosa told reporters on Day 1 of 49ers OTAs on Tuesday. “So, I think it will be pretty, pretty seamless, and I think we’ll be firing on all cylinders.”

“Yeah, it's been great, man,” Warner added to Madson and Biderman on Wednesday. “Love coach Staley, and we've had plenty of talks already, in the defensive meeting room. He sits right next to me, and we've been able to kind of talk back and forth about little things. It's great to kind of pick his brain because he has seen so much football. He's really detailed and knowledgeable about the defensive side of the ball. I've already learned a lot from him, and I'm going to continue to try to pick his brain as much as possible.”

The 49ers are determined to be better defensively this upcoming season. After kicking off OTAs earlier this week in Santa Clara, it seems they’re on the right path.

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