Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

DeMeco Ryans talks 49ers defense, Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Tavon Wilson, facing Trey Lance

Aug 4, 2021 at 2:49 PM--

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans spoke with reporters after training camp practice today. Here is everything he had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

Do you have any expectation on when the guys on the COVID List are expected back? Has there been any clarity on that in the last few days?

"I'm not sure the exact time they'll be back whenever they're back, we'll be happy to have them."

How have the rookie cornerback's been coming along now that you've gone through a few other guys? The two, they have to learn a lot, obviously so this is good that they're getting the reps that they need?

"It was good for our rookie corners, [CB] Ambry [Thomas] and [DB Deommodore Lenoir] D-Mo. They've been getting a lot of reps and for those guys it's just a matter of just keep emphasizing and honing in on working their technique and fundamentals every day. So for me, the better they get each day just doing a little bit better on their technique and fundamentals and just keep making strides in that way, you know, I'll be pleased with what they're doing. I know there's a lot on their plate right now, having to learn a lot. So it's just going to take time for those guys, but they're doing a good job."

Two things on strong safety. What are your impressions of S Tavon Wilson, first of all, and also, do you envision that being a competition for the starting job when S Jaquiski Tartt comes back?

"I think having Tavon in, Tavon has done a really good job. I mean, you can tell he's a true pro, he's a leader. I love his approach to every day. He attacks every day the right way, does a really awesome job of communicating out there with the guys, making sure guys are all on the same page. And he's just been, he's been great in there. So I'm happy that we were able to get Tavon, a really great addition to our team and I like the way he's working."

And do you envision it being a competition when Jaquiski gets back?

"We'll see what happens. Whenever Tartt comes back, we'll see what happens there."

What happened with DT Javon Kinlaw today? He seemed off to the side pretty upset with his head down, didn't participate in team drills.

"Not sure. Not sure. J.K. is fine. He'll be all right."

Was today a maintenance day for DL Nick Bosa?

"Yeah. Bosa's still just, you know, day to day taking a maintenance day and coming back, progressing. When it's time for him to be back in he'll be back out there."

How much does he need in terms of preseason? Because he missed most of last year with the injury? Do you feel like he needs the preseason to get ready for the regular season?

"The main thing for Bosa is just him taking the time to make sure he has the confidence in his knee to go out there and perform at a high level. Once he gets, you know, the reps he needs, gets the confidence in his knee and he'll be fine."

What's DL Samson Ebukam's issue where he needs rest?

"Ebukam you said?"


"Ebukam's dealing with some things you'd have to ask coach about injuries and things like that."

I know you're focused on your defense, but have you had a chance to take a peek at the rookie quarterback and what has impressed you so far about QB Trey Lance?

"Yeah. I mean, first thing jumps off the tape is the guys' ability to throw the ball. I mean, it's really awesome. He can hit every route. You know, he can throw the ball, put it where it needs to be, deep ball, quick game, wherever you want the ball, he can do it. So it's been fun to watch him work. You could see him progressively get better every day. So I'm excited for what he can do. And you can tell, you can see why he's a top pick in the draft. Very great, talented guy."

Is it fun for that second-team defense so far?

"Is it fun? Hell yeah. They're getting a lot of good work, a lot of good looks and he's stressing them out a lot. He definitely causes defenses a lot of problems.

That's good though right?

"Good thing to have him on our side."

There've been a few occasions where I think today TE George Kittle got the better of LB Jonas Griffith where linebackers end up on sort of deeper patterns against receivers. Is that intentional by you to get them those reps or is part of that head coach Kyle Shanahan trying to exploit mismatches?

"It's just a matter of however those reps go. It could be linebackers, it could have been a safety. It just all depends on formation. A lot of different things change for certain guys to get certain reps. So yeah, Kittle got one on Jonas today, but it was a really, I mean, it was a good rep. If the play takes that long, then we need the D-Line to get there much faster."

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh used to say that Kyle can kind of be a little cruel and going against the defense he doesn't treat it like a practice, he really schemes it up. What's been your impression of that?

"Yeah, same. We get a lot of good work on both sides whether it's offense scheming, our defense putting in particular plays to see how guys are going to react. And the main thing is about getting guys as many different looks as we can, attacking certain players, attacking scheme and as much as we can get that and mixing it up I think there's great work on both sides."

For you personally, what's it like out there? Does it feel any different DC you're running the show? What is it like for you out there?

"For me there now being a DC is still, it's fun. It's fun. I love the energy of practice. I really love the way the guys are working. It hasn't changed much for me. My approach to practice is just making sure the guys are into it, making sure the guys are swarming to the ball, making sure the guys are playing proper techniques and having fun out there and playing together. So for me, just a matter of keeping the energy going at practice and keeping the guys into it."

Schematically, how much tinkering are you doing in terms of blitzes? And, you know, are you seeing like, hey, this worked against this, this didn't work against this. Are you pretty set in what your defense is going to look like schematically? Are you using these practices to sort of figure that out?

"Yeah. We're using our practices to figure out schematics-wise, you know, where we'll be with the pressures and blitzes and try a lot of different things, see how it works. But when it comes to the season, we'll kind of, you know, hone it down into a small menu and we'll go from there."

DL Dee Ford had a pretty significant practice yesterday. He looked like he was pushing himself to see what he could do on different plays. What was your assessment when you went back and watched his Tuesday performance?

"Yeah. I thought Dee, he performed really well for the few reps that he's gotten. And Dee is still on an approach where we're taking it day by day. He's getting a little bit, you know, every day, but Dee is in a good spot and he's getting better and better each day."

Who have you been pleasantly surprised with on the defensive side?

"Surprised? I don't know. I mean, the guy that sticks out to me on our defense right now is Tavon, Tavon Wilson. We talked about him earlier, but Tavon has really been, you know, surprising from the standpoint of just his leadership, his communication, his focus, and his consistent approach daily."

It seems like even with the offense he's talking to them and he's teaching receivers. How important is that, like how do you see that?

"It's important for us. Throughout training camp, offensively or defensively, you know, at times you put the pads on and you get tired of banging or going against each other, but our guys are really tight. That's the thing about our team. We have a really tight team that works together, offensively defensively, not only on the field, but off the field, helping each other. When it comes to the schematics, comes to how the cover routes, how to run certain routes better, guys are always helping each other."

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