Rapoport: 49ers expected to promote LB coach DeMeco Ryans to replace Robert Saleh

Jan 14, 2021 at 7:34 PM--


San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is headed to the New York Jets to become their new head coach. That means head coach Kyle Shanahan will need to replace him, and the 49ers appear ready to promote from within to do so.

According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the 49ers are expected to promote linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans to defensive coordinator. It's a move that won't come as a surprise. Ryans is highly respected internally by players, coaches, and staff.


Ryans has been with the 49ers since 2017 when he started as a defensive quality control coach. He spent 10 seasons as an NFL linebacker with the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles, was selected to two Pro Bowls, and was named a first-team All-Pro in 2007.

"He's so passionate about what he does," 49ers star linebacker Fred Warner said last month (h/t to ESPN's Nick Wagoner). "It's not a mystery why he was so successful in the NFL, he's such a smart mind, and him and Saleh are very similar in that way where they're both really smart and know exactly what they want. The fact that DeMeco did play linebacker, that's exactly how is going to coach. He's going to coach you hard and aggressive and expect a lot out of you because he was able to do that when he played.

"From what I've heard and what different people around the league have said, when you play in the league, it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be a good coach. You've got to be able to be a teacher more than anything if you want to be a great coach. He's an amazing teacher. I've learned so much from him and continue to learn so much, and I think that's the key to being a great coach is the teaching part of it. I know with whatever happens with his coaching career, he'll be amazing at whatever he does."

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