“I Want Guys Enthusiastic About Playing Football” | Niners Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans In Line To Become Head Coach This Offseason

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

Under the direction of defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, the San Francisco 49ers defense has been smothering teams all season. That has made Ryans arguably the top head coaching candidate in the NFL.

Ryans leads a defense that just suffocates its opponents, to the tune of allowing just 64 points during their current six-game winning streak. Not since a 44-23 blowout loss to the Chiefs in late October has a team score more than 17 points against this dominant unit.

That type of play has ushered Ryans into a serious candidate to lead his own NFL franchise in 2023. Ryans preaches positivity and no energy-sappers in or around his unit.

On, Friday, Nov. 18 during a post-practice media session, Ryans told reporters how he handles keeping his unit upbeat and locked in. 

“I can easily harp on all the negative things, the plays we didn’t make or beat guys up. But that’s not going to allow those guys to come back and be confident and make the plays that they’re supposed to make, so it’s always, for me, it’s always positive energy. No energy vampires allowed. I tell the guys, always positive energy, it’s always upbeat, because when they make plays, I want guys enthusiastic about playing football.”

DeMeco Ryans In Position For Head Coach Job 

This could be the third straight offseason that Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan loses a coordinator to a head coaching position. 

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

DeMeco Ryans Was Almost The Vikings Head Coach Last Offseason

During last offseason’s coaching carousel, Ryans became a hot name. He interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings, who were looking for a new leader. After an initial meeting where he wowed Vikings brass, the former Alabama Crimson Tide star and two-time Pro Bowl player was invited back for a second interview but respectfully declined the offer.

While Ryans never mentioned why he did it, the belief is he wanted more experience before venturing into the head coaching world. In retrospect, with jobs so rare for Black coaches, Ryans’ patience speaks to the mentality and maturity the 2006 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year possesses.

But this offseason there will be no shortage of suitors clamoring for his services, and he may have his choice of jobs, as he’s that impressive and that ready to lead men.

The 2019 Niners defense was suffocating, leading the team to the brink of a Super Bowl victory. That group was led by then-defensive coordinator and current Jets head coach Robert Saleh. They allowed a paltry 281 yards per game and just 19.4 points. At that time Ryans was the linebackers coach, but this season as the coordinator the Niners have been better, allowing just 15.8 points per game and 283 yards per game.

And the wild card in each season has been edge rusher Nick Bosa, a perennial defensive player of the year candidate. And Ryans knows how vital he is to their success.

Enjoy Ryans, Niners fans, he won’t be around much longer.