DeMeco Ryans Could Be The Next Mike Tomlin | Teams Should Really Consider Hiring The Hidden Gem

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryan of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sidelines against the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers are headed to their second NFC title game in three seasons. The Niners defense, led by first-year defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, is the key ingredient in this surprising run.

That has led to Ryans garnering interest around the league as a potential head coach. He interviewed for the Vikings gig on Sunday and will interview with the Raiders after this Sunday’s NFC title game.

Both teams would be smart to hire him. He has the Mike Tomlin look, personality and feel to him.

Tomlin’s profile exploded after just one season as defensive coordinator of the Vikings, where he boasted the league’s best run defense and forced 36 turnovers. He interviewed with a few teams, including the Steelers, who were so impressed with Tomlin’s interview that they hired him in 2007 at age 34.

All he’s done is become the greatest BLACK coach to ever grace the NFL sidelines, posting a (164-94-2) record including playoffs with one Super Bowl win and two Super Bowl appearances. His 15 consecutive non-losing seasons to begin an NFL coaching career is a league record.

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Tomlin does it style, grace and swag, despite all of the systemic racism and typical criticism of Black men in leadership positions by white men trying to keep us trapped in the 1970s.

The comments never deterred his greatness. Tomlin is a leader of men and his teams always compete at a high level. It’s never been a question of who’s in charge in “The Burgh.”

When you see DeMeco, you see those same similarities. That Niners defense has Ryans’ influence written all over it. His defense adopted his personality, which he displays as a coach.

Mike Tomlin Is The Standard: Ryans Hopes To See Blacks Get Opportunities

“I think as this new cycle comes around, I think multiple guys will get opportunities,” Ryan said. “Well hope you to see some change there and see many other African-American coaches get that gig, get the head coaching job and be in position to lead these young men.”

When you talk about being Black and leading young men, no one has been more successful than Mike Tomlin, and DeMeco acknowledges that. He recognizes Tomlin as role model.

“Mike Tomlin is definitely a guy look up to as a coach. You talk about the consistency he’s had over the years, and not to have losing season and always in the playoffs. He is definitely the coach I look up to and I want to mimic, to be able to be in that position. I want to mimic a coach like Mike Tomlin with the success he’s had.”

Ryans has been successful in all his football endeavors, from being an All-American at Alabama, to being named Defensive Rookie of the Year, to becoming an All-Pro player.

As inside linebacker coach, he’s responsible for the development of 2020 All-Pro middle linebacker Fred Warner, who signed a five-year, $95.5 million extension under the tutelage of Ryans. Warner is the heart and soul of the Niners defense.

When Ryans was promoted, Warner knew what they were getting and had this to say:

“The passion, the enthusiasm, such a smart mind, and he’s able to teach guys. That’s the biggest thing is that teaching aspect. I know we’re gonna be firing this season. I love his demeanor and what he expects from us.”
Players, Coaches, and Upper Management All Think Highly Of Ryans
Ryans is talented, well spoken, detail-oriented, driven and extremely smart. His boss Kyle Shanahan knows that he’s got one of the gems of the league’s coaching employees.

“I’ve seen head coach qualities of out of DeMeco when he was a player, when he was a quality control coach, when he was a linebacker coach, and now when he’s a defensive coordinator. So he has all those qualities. It’s just about him getting the reps and getting the experience. It’s a matter of time with him.”

Ryans has enough experience. If a team comes calling, they’ll get a hell of a (coach), but I don’t want to lose him yet. So hopefully for my sake, they let him get a few more years here, but I know he’s ready.”

In an interview in 2017, former Vikings head coach Brad Childress recalls losing Tomlin to the Steelers back in 2007 ….

“I didn’t want to lose him, but I didn’t wanna hold him back. I think everyone knew he had the personality to do it. All he had to do was get in front of those people.”
Now DeMeco Ryans is next up. He’s got the brains. He represents the next generation of Black coaches and there’s no reason to hold this man back from his destiny. If NFL owners are serious about winning, then Ryans will be at the top of several lists. They actually should be banging down his door.
The fact that we are discussing Ryans having to interview like a White House spokesperson to get a job that he’s more than qualified for is ridiculous when you think about it. It will take a lot more than systemic oppression to keep Ryans from getting a job. It’s time for another Mike Tomlin in the NFL. Why not Ryans?