Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans Press Conference

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

Press Conference – September 9, 2021

San Francisco 49ers

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How much of what we saw in the three preseason games is what your defense is going to look like in the regular season?

“I think the first thing about our defense is the way our guys play with effort. The physicality of our defense that’s who we are, no matter preseason, regular season, that’s just who we are. And that’s what you saw in the preseason and that’s what I expect to continue from our guys in the regular season. Just playing hard, playing for each other, playing fast, attacking the ball, swarming to the ball, that’s who we are. And that’s what I expect from our guys.”

That’s kind of a theme that we’ve heard from you since we’ve been talking to you. Do you kind of feel like as a former player that sometimes coaches kind of muddy things up? That the best tools you can give your players is just to go out and play fast?

“Yeah, that’s it. Yeah, that’s everything about this game. Guys playing fast, but also playing smart. Understanding tendencies, formations, things teams are giving you, but can you decipher that information, digest it, and go play fast. Not have to continue to think about what you have to do, but now you can focus on the opponent and what are they giving you? Can you tee off on some of the formations? Some of the indicators that offenses give you, can you tee off on those things and play fast? That’s what I feel, I believe that defense is all about. Guys understanding what to do and being able to do it at a very fast pace.”

What have you seen from CB Josh Norman so far? Where is he sort of at right now?

“Yeah, Josh has been working well and we’ve had him in for a couple of days. He’s been learning and he’s been doing a really good job. You can tell he’s a vet who’s been around for a while and knows a lot of ball. Very smart player. Instinctive player, has made plays in his league since he first came into the league. So, excited to add some veteran depth there to our corner position.”

He didn’t get a training camp. Is he in good enough physical condition right now to be able to play Sunday if you do need him?

“Yeah, one thing about Josh is, like I said, he’s a veteran who’s done it for a while, a smart player. So, we still working through all those things, but Josh he’s in a really good place right now.”

Why has this defense, just in general, had so much success against Detroit Lions QB Jared Goff particularly the last two years?

“I think when you talk about our defense and how we approach things it’s just all about us. It’s not about a particular person or a particular team. It’s about us owning the fundamentals of our scheme and what we do. If our guys just own what we do and go out and play fast, that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about who we go against.”

 What have you seen from DL Nick in these couple of weeks of practice and does he look like the player he was before injury?

“Yeah, Bosa is looking great. He’s done a phenomenal job. It’s just a testament to him. The work that he’s put in throughout this whole entire process of rehabbing. He’s worked extremely hard and I’m very proud of the work that he’s put in to put himself in a position to be ready to go here Week 1. I’m very excited, very fired up. And he’s just been a true pro. Even though he’s still a young player in this league, he really does a lot to take care of his body. He’s in shape, he’s looking fast and explosive. So, I’m excited to have him out there.”

How was he in terms of technique? When he came into the league, he was very savvy for a rookie. Some of the guys said it in terms of his technique. Has he been able to work on that when he’s been away?

“Yeah. He’s been able to work on his technique and I think Bosa has actually come back and he hopped right back in. He’s actually done better than he first started. So, I’m excited to see him against live competition on Sunday. I’m excited to watch him and I’m happy for him. Guys that battle through injuries and all of the things you have to go through, the mental strain that it puts on you and the physical strain. I’m just proud of guys who are able to bounce back and be able to go back out there and play on Sunday. So, it’s a really big day for him.”

LB Fred Warner said yesterday that the new all gas no brakes is S.W.A.R.M. He said you came up with S.W.A.R.M. Can you talk about the genesis of that?

“S.W.A.R.M for us means it’s all about the people that I want on our defense. S.W.A.R.M is, I want special people with special work ethic and a relentless mindset. That’s what S.W.A.R.M means to me. So it’s all about the people. It’s all about the mindset that you come in every day, you’re attacking the day, you’re attacking the daily process. Dominating not only on the football field, your one-on-one, but you’re dominating the little things. Whether it’s taking care of your body, nutrition, weightlifting, the way you practice, being deliberate, it’s all about having a relentless mindset in your pursuit of being successful and being the best that you can be.”

If CB Emmanuel Moseley can’t go on Sunday, who do you expect would fill his spot?
“We have a lot of options. We have a lot of options with guys that have been here and played in our scheme and have done it. We’ve added Josh, so we have a lot of options there.”

Can you talk about CB Dontae Johnson? He’s been up, he’s down, he’s been cut, he’s been brought back, he’s been 53, practice squad. What is it about him that you appreciate just as a player?

“Yeah, Dontae is just a consummate pro. You can always count on Dontae to be ready. And I know he’s been through a lot of ups and downs, like you said, on the roster, off the roster, practice squad, but Dontae the man has never wavered. He’s the same every day. He’s always there leading the younger guys, helping those guys out. When we put him in there, he’s able to perform the techniques that we asked him to do. So, just very appreciative of Dontae and his role, what he’s meant to this organization. He’s an important piece and I’m happy that we were able to get him back. But I love Dontae, love his spirit, love his energy, and I really love his leadership that he provides for our young guys.”

What are the challenges for you going into, not only Week 1, but facing a first-time head coach, a new offensive coordinator. Do you go and look at Los Angeles Chargers film from the last couple of years for what Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn might do on Sunday?

“We understand who they are. Anthony Lynn’s perspective, former running back who’s played in the league. So we understand that they want to be a physical, run the ball, smash-mouth team from the head coach to the running backs coach in [assistant head coach/running backs coach] Duce Staley and Anthony Lynn. We understand their mentality. So we’ve been looking at a lot of different things from these guys, from all the places that they’ve been. With the first game, it’s always kind of a toss-up for everyone, but you can’t really get focused in new coordinator, new team. There’s not a lot of things that we have on tape versus these guys, so that’s why I say it has to always be about us and what we’re doing defensively. Are we on our job? Are we doing what we’re supposed to do? And are we able to do it at a very fast pace?”

What is it that led to DB Jimmie Ward getting named a captain for the first time in your opinion?

“Jimmie has outstanding since he’s been here. Jimmie, he’s grown into that leadership role back there. You’ve always had Jimmie and [S Jaquiski] Tartt here for the past few years. With Jimmie, he’s really stepped up and done a great job of leading. And I’m excited for Jimmie to be a captain. The guys love it, everybody loves it when Jimmie brings the team up and he talks to the team. He always has a positive message, always has an encouraging message to the team and our guys feed off of Jimmie’s energy that he brings. And you also know the playmaker and the style of play that Jimmie plays with. So, I’m very happy for him to be named captain for the first time. He’s very deserving and Jimmie is a special player, special talent, but also a great man.”

What is your leadership style and what qualities do you look for in players to be leaders?

“Yeah, I think my leadership style, first and foremost, it’s all about being honest with guys. With players, the biggest thing you have to be is just honest and direct with players. That’s what players appreciate the most in this league is being honest and straightforward with them. And it’s always about encouraging, being positive, and uplifting. So that’s my leadership style. And from a player standpoint, I think players, first and foremost, lead by what you do on the field. When you’re out there, you’re doing what you’re supposed to be, you’re where you’re supposed to be, you’re accountable to your teammates, and guys look at you as a leader and guys are looking to follow you.”