Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers


49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan expects DeMeco Ryans to gamble more than Robert Saleh

Jun 11, 2021 at 7:22 PM--


When the 49ers line up on defense this season under new coordinator DeMeco Ryans, they might be taking more risks than they did over the past four seasons under the guidance of previous coordinator Robert Saleh.

Saleh earned a reputation as one of the league's top defensive coordinators during his time with the 49ers, which he turned into his new opportunity as head coach of the New York Jets. But according to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, Saleh liked to play it safe as a coordinator, which is something that could change this season now that Ryans is in charge.

"I think you'll see DeMeco's personality come out a little bit more," Shanahan told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic during an interview on the most recent episode of Kawakami's TK Show. "DeMeco's an aggressive guy. I always messed with Saleh because I said I don't think he's ever lost a dollar in his life gambling because Saleh doesn't want to gamble too much. I think DeMeco will do that a little bit more. Sometimes there's a little risk in that but sometimes there's some reward also. We'll see how he finds his way with that. It takes time though. But I don't think it's going to take DeMeco too long."

Ryans made it clear earlier this month that he'll be putting his own touches on the defense and won't be doing everything the exact same way as Saleh. Taking more risks may indeed be part of that.

"I want to be known as an attacking defensive line," Ryans said on June 2. "Our D-Line is going to attack. Our linebackers and secondary, they're going to play with base fundamentals. We're going to play off our D-Line. We're going to allow our D-Line to get off the ball and attack, we're going to clean up things behind them, but we will be a more aggressive, attacking defense."

Meanwhile, Ryans has already established himself as a voice of authority in the locker room. His experience as a former Pro Bowl linebacker has made an impression on 49ers players, and Shanahan has used that to his advantage.

"I had him talk to our team two days ago, just giving our team his opinion on how important these 40 days away are," Shanahan told Kawakami. "He kind of gave his history as a player and talked about it as a coach. When he talks, people listen. When I say he's going to be a head coach, I mean it. It's just a matter of time for him."





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