The 49ers have concluded two interviews in their search for a defensive coordinator

The 49ers have completed two interviews for their defensive coordinator opening, and a third interview is expected later this week. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco on Monday reported former Chargers head coach Brandon Staley and 49ers defensive passing game specialist Nick Sorensen both interviewed for the vacancy. Safeties coach Daniel Bullocks will be the third interview, although that has yet to be conducted.

It’s a little bit of a surprise Staley was one of the interviewees. He had success as the Rams’ defensive coordinator under Sean McVay, but he struggled badly as the Chargers’ head coach and he comes from a Vic Fangio tree that differs schematically from what Shanahan wants his defensive coordinator to do.

There’s definitely some risk in bringing in Staley that they’d run into some of the same problems they had last season under defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. However, Staley is a bright defensive mind who may be able to adapt his scheme to what the 49ers are already doing. Perhaps he’d be open to doing so after struggling so mightily to build a strong defense with the Chargers. Either way there’d need to be a pretty big schematic overhaul for Staley if he’s going to run the 49ers’ defense.

Sorensen is an intriguing candidate with a foundation in coaching that began under Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. Carroll and Seattle run the scheme Shanahan wants the 49ers’ defense to operate, which is why Sorensen has been named as an internal candidate.

Bullocks has been with the 49ers since the 2017 season and knows what the defense is supposed to look like. His interview hasn’t happened, but head coach Kyle Shanahan told Maiocco the interviews are supposed to wrap this week.

Hiring a defensive coordinator is a huge offseason box the 49ers have to check, so the hiring process shouldn’t drag out too long.

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