Chip Kelly thought San Francisco presented the best opportunity for him. Mike Vrabel didn’t.
The Texans linebackers coach has rejected an offer to join Kelly as the 49ers defensive coordinator, per multiple reports.
Vrabel, 40, joined the Texans in 2014 with coach Bill O’Brien. While making the move to the 49ers would have represented a step up for Vrabel (it also could have put him in position to be considered for head-coaching jobs), he opted to remain in Houston.
It’s possible Vrabel has received a wink-nod commitment from O’Brien of a promotion to defensive coordinator once 68-year-old Romeo Crennel retires. Or perhaps Vrabel simply didn’t believe that his long-term prospects would be served by running the defense of a team with a high-speed offense that will likely have plenty of short possessions, putting extra pressure on the other side of the ball.
The 49ers have not yet released defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, who could continue to serve in that role.