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Alexander is a bright defensive mind who is ascending

Per The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, the San Francisco 49ers interviewed Las Vegas Raiders safeties coach Gerald Alexander for their vacant defensive coordinator spot on Friday.

It’s unfortunate that this will be viewed as a “Rooney Rule” interview. I’ve followed Alexander’s coaching career and seen him coach in action. He’s an incredible teacher and somebody who can relate to players.

Alexander, who played in the NFL from 2007-2011 — he actually replaced 49ers coach Daniel Bullocks in the starting lineup of the Detroit Lions — has been a defensive backs coach at various universities before joining the Miami Dolphins in 2020. Since then, Alexander has been coached with the Steelers before being recently hired by the Raiders.

Here are the list of candidates the 49ers have interviewed for their defensive coordinator spot:

Gerald Alexander

Daniel Bullocks

Dave Merritt

Nick Sorensen

Brandon Staley

If we’re using the process of elimination and pair Kyle Shanahan’s framing of wanting somebody with a history of coaching linebackers, that brings us to Staley and Merritt. Then again, Alexander coached the linebackers of the West team at the East-West Shrine Bowl in 2024.

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