Singletary opts for friends and family plan

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Niners coach Mike Singletary has hired his nephew, Vantz Singletary, and Al Harris to his defensive staff, the 49ers announced.

Vantz Singletary, who coached current 49ers defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga at Hawaii, will coach inside linebackers. He was most recently coaching defensive tackles at the University of Buffalo. Harris, who played with Singletary for the Bears before retiring with Philadelphia, will specialize as a pass-rush coach.

These types of moves are easy to criticize as nepotism/cronyism, but head coaches tend to surround themselves with friends and longtime associates. In this case, Singletary is naming his nephew and former teammate to lower-level positions. These positions are also newly created, meaning Singletary isn't pushing out more established coaches.