Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans Press Conference
Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans
Press Conference – October 20, 2022
San Francisco 49ers
What have you been seeing from your guys this week approaching this challenge and how they’re kind of responding after the Falcons game?
“Our guys have responded really well. I think they’ve come out and had two really good days of practice. They’ve been dialed in and locked into the things that we’re asking them to do. They’ve been doing a really fine job and had really good practices now. So, I’m liking where we are in our preparation.”
All the off-schedule things that the Chiefs do, how can you plan for that? How is your defensive approach when they do so much like that?
“We know it’s a challenge. Everybody knows [Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick] Mahomes is one of the best quarterbacks to play and his ability to keep plays alive by being on the move. It’s very difficult to defend, so, everybody has to be sound. Everybody has to be where they’re supposed to be in coverage, in their rush lanes, everybody has to just be accountable, everybody has to do their job and play together. It’s not going to be a one man show of going to get Mahomes. It’s going to be everybody with the rush and coverage being tied together, that’s how we’ll collectively be able to stop these guys.”
Head coach Kyle Shanahan compared him to former Denver Broncos QB John Elway and DB Jimmie Ward compared him to Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Does he remind you of anybody that you played against?
“No, he’s a man in his own category. I think just with the different arm angles and the different ways that he’s able to throw the ball, I haven’t seen anybody like that, never played against anyone like it. He can make any throw on the field no matter where he is. If he’s moving to his left, moving to his right, it really doesn’t matter. Sometimes you want to force guys one way or the other, but this guy here, it really doesn’t matter. He can side arm it, he can throw wherever he wants to. So, he definitely is a different beast all of itself and it’s a tough out for everyone.”
Without Miami Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill they’ve still managed to have a similar scoring average per game. And without that, as Kyle called it, how he referred to it, like fastest guy on the planet speed. How have they been able to do that?
“Yeah, that offense is still able to generate just because of the details and what they do in their offensive scheme. I think everybody’s very well coached. They’re detailed in their approach and guys find a way to get open. It definitely is different with Tyreek, not seeing him out there with that speed. But you still have [Kansas City Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman] 17, [Kansas City Chiefs WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling] 11, these guys still have speed to stretch the field. So, just because they don’t have Tyreek, they still have, we still have problems. You know, they are a tough matchup all across the board with their receivers, the tight end position, the running back, each skill position presents a different challenge. So, these guys are, it’s difficult to defend. We’re up for the challenge though.”
What do you guys have to do when you just defend them in the red zone? It seems like their red zone package is as varied as any team in the league. So, how do you go about preparing your squad for that?
“Yeah, they have a lot of different looks. They mix it up very well in the red zone. A lot of different motions, shifts. They get very creative in the red zone and that’s where you see them thrive and they’re able to score points just because of the creative things they’re able to do to kind of confuse defenses and get guys wide open. So everybody, we have to have eyes on [Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis] Kelce, I think he’s one of the most targeted guys in the red zone, and he finds a way to come down with a lot of touchdowns. Really good connection there with Mahomes. So, guys just have to be very dialed in and very locked in with their eyes being exactly where they’re supposed to be, making sure they’re looking at the proper thing and not getting tripped up by all the window dressing that they see.”
How difficult is it to prepare for and coach against Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid in particular?
“It is different because they’re sound, that’s one thing Andy has always been, he’s always been a master of the details. The finest details, I know Andy is covering those things. So, that’s what makes them stand out amongst other teams. Everything, every position, every step of the route, the angle with the footwork or how they’re running their routes with the precision of the running game, the targeting of the O-Line, everything’s going to be done with details, that’s one thing I always remember. Being with coach Reid for one year, he was all about the details and the precision of every single rep.”
Did you ever sit in any offensive meetings?
“No, never sat in an offensive meeting. But he would come over and he would coach defense too, like as a head coach he’s a very smart coach. He knows it all. So, he even coached us as defensive players of how tight ends are trying to attack your leverage, what are they trying to do to get your pad level up, like I remember one day just coming over, just coaching us up, myself and [former Philadelphia Eagles LB] Mychal Kendricks just on this is what a tight end is trying to do to you, so this is how you defend it. So, he’s just very well thought out from that prospective as a head coach for him to take the time to come over and coach defense, and you know he has the offense down pat, but he’s just all around. He knows it all. Very respected, great coach in his league.”
When you think of the Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs, is there a, I guess what specific memory or play might pop to mind to you?
“A lot of plays pop into mind. It’s just a lot of plays. Just, it’s disappointing. Watching that game again, it’s just disappointing from a lot of different plays that we’ve seen. Like being in the position we were in, it’s difficult to go back and watch it but it’s past us now. It happened, like we have to move forward and we’re here now and seeing where this team can build and move forward. But kind of one hand, it’s cool to go back and watch it and see how close we were in that moment and it also provides a burst like, man, like owning all of the little details of what’s your job and what you have to do and being on it for four quarters. Just go back and seeing that’s what it takes to win games. We have to be locked in for a complete four quarters. And that’s what it reminded me of going back and watching it.”
Did you watch it before this week?
“No. I mean, yes, that was a couple, it’s been a couple years ago, so haven’t played the Chiefs since then, so it’s my first time watching it since last time.”
Already being down CB Emmanuel Moseley and should CB Charvarius Ward not be able to go on Sunday, just how much confidence do you have in the younger guys to be able to step in?
“Whoever is out there they have to play, right? Of course, we would love to have our guys out there. Love to have our starters, but that’s what the league is. It’s always about adjusting. It’s never quite how you want it with injuries and that’s all across the league. It’s not our team. It’s all teams deal with those things. So, you have to make the best of what you have. And with that, it’s a great opportunity for backup guys. They have to see it as, man, this is my opportunity to go shine. And are they ready for that challenge? Are they going to step up to the plate and make plays? You really don’t know until young guys are thrust into that moment. And that’s where you see some guys rise up and play big and they just have to go out and play and you see where they are. You know there’s going to be some growing pains with the young guys out there, but hopefully we can weather that and those guys can make some big plays for us.”
With Jimmie Ward in the club that he’s got on his hand, obviously it’s not your decision for him to be cleared, but if he does get cleared, do you have to take into account that in terms of how you use him or anything like that?
“Well, I mean, with the club, I just trust Jimmie that whatever he’s able to do, whatever he’s comfortable with handling, I trust Jimmie. Jimmie has played a lot of ball and if he feels comfortable to go out with that club and whatever he’s able to do and he’s comfortable, like we can roll with it. I know the type of play maker that Jimmie is. With a club, without a club, I know the presence that he brings, the playmaking ability that he brings to our defense. So having him out there is just going to be, if we can have him out there, that’ll be a huge lift for us defensively.”
The 2012 49ers are going to be here this weekend for the game. When you were an Eagle, you played the Niners, in that game you played 83 snaps. Do you remember the game at all playing the former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh Niners?
“I think that was my first time, I think that was the first year, was that this the first year of this stadium being open? Yeah. I think [former San Francisco 49ers RB] Frank Gore was playing, so I remember a few plays from that game. Few tough tackles versus Frank Gore. One thing I remember from that game is the Niners were just a very tough team. Tough physical team, hard nose team. That’s one thing I do remember from that game. And it’s one thing that just the organization that it’s always been about, just a toughness and it’s also about championships, right? And that’s what this organization is about. And I’m just happy to be a part of this organization and the rich history that they have, it’s fun. Just being able to play here in this stadium and now coach here, it’s just, it’s special how everything just comes back full circle.”