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Kyle Shanahan hopes to not lose DeMeco Ryans but knows 49ers coordinator is ready for a head coach job

Jan 25, 2023 at 1:03 PM--



The San Francisco 49ers' defensive coordinator, DeMeco Ryans, is a hot name in head coaching searches. The assistant coach has already interviewed with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans. The Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts still hope to speak with Ryans about their head coach vacancies.

Right now, Ryans and the 49ers are focused on their NFC Championship Game opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles. Players know their time with the defensive coordinator is running out, though. In their minds, there is no doubt that Ryans will thrive as a head coach, whether that be after this season or down the road.

"He's going to be a great head coach," defensive end Nick Bosa told reporters on Wednesday. "I think he's as good as it gets when it comes to the scheme on defense. But as a leader of men, he's as good as it gets."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan would hate to lose his valuable coordinator. Ryans took over as defensive coordinator after Robert Saleh left to be the head coach of the New York Jets in 2021.

Ryans' defense was the league's best this season, ranking No. 1 in average yards and points allowed per game. Opponents averaged 3.4 yards per rushing attempt against the 49ers, which tied with the Tennessee Titans as the best in the NFL.

"I hope his wife doesn't get mad, but I hope he's not a head coach next year," Shanahan said, laughing. "But if he is, he more than deserves it."

What has made Ryans such a good leader? Obviously, that's something that translates well to a head coaching job.

"I think it starts as a man," Shanahan shared. "He's the ideal leader, whatever he does. He was that way when he came into Houston as a rookie linebacker. He took over that defense right away. You could tell he was in charge when he was a 21-year-old. He came in here as a quality control [coach], and within like six months, we moved him to linebacker coach. He's just always been that guy.

"And then just watching him over these two years, what he took in his years learning to get there—he runs his system, and then he adjusts every week. He sees how to play an offense. He pays attention to offense and defense. I thought he was ready last year to be a head coach."

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