7. Vic Fangio, San Francisco
Fangio has been a popular name each offseason for the past couple of years, and that should come as a surprise to nobody.
The 49ers’ defensive coordinator has led a unit that ranked in the top five in terms of points allowed, rush defense, first-downs allowed, opposing quarterback rating, total yards allowed, takeaways, and third-down defense each of his first three seasons.
And while that is as impressive of a stat as you’ll find, his work in 2014 with injuries to Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, a suspended Aldon Smith and the loss of three starting defensive backs may speak even more volume about Fangio. This year, under all those circumstances, San Francisco still ranks fifth in defense DVOA.
If Harbaugh does in fact leave (or get handed his walking papers from) the 49ers after this year, Fangio should be at the top of the organization’s wish list to take over. If not, other teams will surely have him on their radars.