Rams rival shocks NFL with this baffling post-Super Bowl firing

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams, Sean Mcvay, Kyle Shanahan
San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams, Sean Mcvay, Kyle Shanahan / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Bad news for the San Francisco 49ers is good news for the LA Rams. And even as there is a bit of delight in viewing the 49ers loss in Super Bowl LVIII trigger what appears to be a baffling knee-jerk reaction, I have to say that I am as puzzled as many NFL fans today. After all the dust had settled, I truly expected the 49ers to circle their wagons, try to retain as many players and coaches as possible from the 2023 NFL season, and try again in 2024.

But that is not happening, and it's due in large part to the intentional decision of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. After a season with the 49ers defense ending the year as the third-best defense (Points allowed), eighth-best defense (yards allowed), 14th best defense (passing yards allowed) and third-best defense in rushing yards allowed, the 49ers have fired their defensive coordinator Steve Wilks after just one season.

The news was so stunning, that the initial reports of his dismissal initiated my search to confirm the story's sources. But the reports were authentic and quickly confirmed. The 49ers have truly agreed to fire their defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. Just 10 minutes after doing so, Kyle Shanahan made these statements about the decision to do so:

"This morning I relieved Steve Wilks of his duties. [We are] going to end up making a change here at defensive coordinator. A really tough decision, because [it] really says nothing about Steve as a man or as a football coach. I mean, he is exactly what we wanted as a man. He is a great football coach.

But just where we are going and where we are at with our team from a scheme standpoint and things like that, looking through it all throughout the year to these last few days, I felt pretty strongly that this was a decision that was best for the organization."

49ers HC Kyle Shanahan

So what caused the rift? Various rumors are being reported after the news. Here is one story that suggests that the 49ers defnese simply was not prepared for what the Chiefs offense was calling.

The LA Rams know that coaching vacancies are rather difficult to fill after competing in a Super Bowl, and this dismissal is anything but a step in the right direction for the San Francisco 49ers organization and coaching staff. Reports now cite contention between 49ers HC Shanahan and DC Wilks growing during the second half of the Super Bowl, a game that saw the Chiefs outscore the 49ers 22-12 after halftime, including the overtime period.

NFL Insider Emmanuel Acho sounded off on the 49ers decision to part ways with Wilks. It's worth a watch because he shares details about the dissent that Shanahan had with Wilks all season:

Many NFL insiders, pundits, and analysts were caught flat-footed by the shocking news. Here is the reaction on the Pat McAfee Show:

The setback for Wilks is regrettable, as his unit was anything but responsible for the 49ers loss. His dismissal will be a huge role for the 49ers to fill. With many of the top prospected having already hired on with other teams, the Niners head coach may be compelled to promote someone from his own staff.

It's difficult to return to an NFL Championship Game for many reasons. With this firing, the 49ers organization added one more hurdle in their path, voluntarily. The swift decision to part ways also introduces a new quandary over the 49ers' offseason plans in terms of their free agents and draft objectives as well.