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If Dave Merritt ends up getting hired as the new defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, things could get slightly awkward during his first few days on the job. 

Merritt is one of at least four candidates who has interviewed for the job so far, but it's safe to say that he's the only candidate who has publicly ripped the 49ers for their performance in Super Bowl LVIII. Merritt had a front row seat to the game and that's because he's currently the defensive backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs

During a recent radio interview on the "Sports Shop" in North Carolina, Merritt was asked about the 49ers decision to fire Steve Wilks and based on his answer, Merritt clearly didn't agree with San Francisco's move, which came just three days after the 49ers' 25-22 loss in Super Bowl LVIII. 

Merritt said there's no way that Wilks should have been fired for his Super Bowl performance because it was the 49ers offense that actually let the team down. 

"If you want to talk about the game, their offense went 3-for-12 on third down," Merritt said of the 49ers. "Our offense went 9-for-19, but if your offense is going 3-for-12 on third down, is that Wilks' fault?"

Merritt also pointed out that the 49ers got little to no production from George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk

"If your tight end who's All-Pro, Kittle, only has one catch for 4 yards, is that Wilks' fault? You can feed McCaffrey all you want to, he needs help," Merritt said. "And then No. 11, who was trying to fight all game, AKO, whatever -- I don't know -- he only had 40-something yards, was that Wilks' fault?"

Before taking the Chiefs assistant coaching job in 2019, Merritt spent one season in Arizona where Wilks was the head coach at the time.

Merritt's radio comments came on Feb. 22, which is before he interviewed for the 49ers defensive coordinator job. If Kyle Shanahan likes brutally honest assistants, then Merritt might be the perfect guy because it's pretty clear he thinks the 49ers offense was a bigger problem in the Super Bowl than their defense. On the other hand, if Shahanan isn't fond of being criticized, then he probably won't be calling Merritt back for a second interview. 

The 52-year-old Merritt has been coaching in the NFL since 2001 and during his time in the league, he's won five Super Bowls (three with the Chiefs and two with the Giants). Although he's never held a coordinator position, that's been by choice. 

"One of the things my wife Yolanda and I discussed years ago, was that I was not going to pursue any type of coordinating job while my kids were young," Merritt said back in January, via A to Z Sports. "I wanted to be there for Friday night games. I wanted to be there on Saturday if I could to go to some games. You can ask my wife Yolanda, she'll tell you the same thing. When that time arrives, if I'm afforded a position to be able to even go and interview, I will consult with my wife and then we will take the next step."

Merritt's youngest child is now 15, so if the 49ers do offer him the job, he might actually be open to taking it. Besides Merritt, the 49ers have also interviewed current San Francisco assistants Daniel Bullocks (defensive backs coach) and Nick Sorensen (defensive passing game coordinator) along with former Chargers coach Brandon Staley.