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Fred Warner talks rookie 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans: “DeMeco is as great as they come”

Jan 11, 2022 at 8:18 PM


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With an impressive Sunday afternoon 27-24 win against the Los Angeles Rams, it seems like the 49ers are reaching the expectations fans had for the team before the season. Sitting at a 10-7 record with the 6th seed in the NFC, they now look to face the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday.

With the 49ers being as dangerous as teams come in the NFL currently, it's hard to remember that, just prior to the season, San Francisco went through an overhaul in terms of organization on the coaching and leadership staff. Former pass-game coordinator Mike LaFleur and, most importantly, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh both departed for the Jets, leaving huge vacancies to fill during the offseason. Fortunately, the Niners elevated Mike McDaniel to fill an offensive coordinator role and former linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans to fill the DC role.

During the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Robert Saleh established the foundation for the 49ers defense, a unit that ranked in the top 10 both years, leaving big shoes to fill in 2021. Warner told Rich Eisen on The Rich Eisen Show, "There was already a standard set here by Robert Saleh who I have a great amount of respect and admiration for".

However, the star linebacker believes that Ryans has stepped up to be a great defensive coordinator in his own right, "I think the fact that DeMeco is able to come in and put his own twist on it to uphold the standard, even raise the standard is amazing, and I think that's why we all love the way that he coaches and he teaches, and that's why we're able to play so hard on Sunday. Because we believe in everything that he preaches to us."

Warner believes that some of DeMeco Ryans' talent as a defensive mind stems from his own years as an NFL linebacker, "DeMeco is as first-class and just as great as they come. You talk about a guy who played the game at such a high level and now coaching at the highest level finishing in the top three as a defense in his first year. I think that's just a product of the standard that he set."

Ryans and Fred Warner have a history together that also seems to elevate the play of the 49ers defense from time to time.

"I think for obviously everybody that's been around the Niners, you know he came in as a linebacker coach the same time that I came in my first year as a linebacker for the defense," Warner continued. "We've grown in this thing together and [we] know each other really well and I think that's why we have such a great connection and we work so well throughout the week and on game days."

Ryans likely has his hardest test yet this week facing arguably the league's top offense in Dallas, and fans hope he'll be able to scheme up yet another great game plan against the plethora of offensive stars the Cowboys have.

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