A few days ago if someone had told you the Raiders and 49ers would swap Defensive Coordinators, would you have believed them? How long would it take you to stop laughing before you asked them if they were serious? Well, that possibility is looking like a very distinct possibility now.
The 49ers "parted ways" with Jim Harbaugh after the season. At that time, it was thought if the 49ers went in-house for a head coaching replacement, a possible replacement was Defensive Coordinator, Vic Fangio. Then he watched as his Defensive line coach, Jim Tomsula, leapfrogged him to get the head coaching job.
Fangio has headed up one of the best defenses in the NFL in San Francisco over the past few seasons. He was officially released Thursday and now there are rumblings he could cross the bay and join Del Rio's staff with the Raiders.
All the talk regarding the Raiders defenisive coordinator position up to this point has been about Mike Smith due to the fact the Smith was fired as Falcons head coach this off-season and he was previously DC under Del Rio in Jacksonville. But at this point, there are no actual reports of certain interest.
While the Raiders are considering the likes of high profile candidates such as Fangio and Smith, the 49ers are seriously considering hiring former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver to replace Fangio.
Tarver was an outside linebackers coach for the 49ers a few years ago. He was with the 49ers for six seasons in that role, four of those seasons on staff with Tomsula (2007-10). So, there are definitely connections there.
The past few years, the 49ers have been riding high as one of the most successful teams in football and one of the most respected coaching staffs as well. The Raiders have been on the other end of that.
Suddenly, that perception has completely shifted. The very idea they could actually swap Defensive Coordinators is proof of that.