Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans Press Conference

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

Press Conference – October 21, 2021

San Francisco 49ers

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How do you feel about your run defense going up against Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor and the strides they’ve made the last couple of games before the Bye Week?

“Yeah, I think Indy has a really, really good run offense. The back is really good. The O-Line has done a good job for them. Could tell a very explosive player if you’re not where you need to be and in the right fit, this guy can take it to the house in a heartbeat. So, we have to be very disciplined in our run defense. Everybody has to be disciplined, in the proper gaps. Everybody has to swarm and tackle because this guy, he’s very tough to get down, really good player, respect him. Him and #21 [Indianapolis Colts RB Nyheim Hines], both of those guys are very good players. So we have our work cut out for us this week when it comes to the run game, but we’re up for the challenge for sure.”

How would you describe CB Josh Norman’s personality?

“I think Josh, his personality, he’s a quiet guy. He doesn’t say much, but he’s a true pro that’s the one thing I like about Josh. I just love veterans who can come in and can take young guys under their wing that means a lot to me. That’s how I was brought up in the league and that’s kind of how the league just progresses. You kind of learn from the vets and it’s the vet’s duty to teach the younger guys. And that’s how guys did it for me coming in. And that’s what I still see going on, which is cool to see even to this day is our veteran guys coming in, no matter when they get here, like taking that leadership role. And Josh has done a great job at that, but he’s a quiet guy, he speaks when he needs to speak, he’s intense out on the field, plays with a high level of energy. So I liked Josh, really happy we were able to get him and get a veteran who’s done it for a while in this league at a high level. So happy we were able to get him when we did.”

You guys have talked a lot about, obviously trying to get more takeaways. I know you’ve had a lot of fumbles that have come out, maybe you just haven’t been able to fall on them. When you went back and looked over the Bye Week how close are you to maybe getting more and the tide turning on that?

“Yeah, the turnovers are definitely an issue. We have to get more turnovers. We have to take it away to give our offense the ball. And that’s our goal every time we go out, but just looking at it, we’re attacking the ball. You watch [LB] Fred [Warner], you watch Josh, [CB] Dontae [Johnson] the last time out versus Arizona, like guys are attacking the ball. The ball is coming out. Just hasn’t fell our way yet, but we’re going to keep plugging away. We’re going to keep attacking the ball. We’re going to keep as much as we can, guys just keep talking about it, keep putting emphasis on it. That’s not going to change every week, every day. Our emphasis is on the ball, it just has to happen. And I feel like, it just takes one game when it turns your way. It just takes one game and we need that very soon for our guys. But guys have been working hard at it in practice, emphasizing it in practice, getting it done in practice, getting the ball out in practice. Now we just need to keep doing what they’ve been doing with the mindset of the ball and then it’ll come our way soon.”

Do you see a potential rain game as a way of kind of starting that turning the tide on that, so to speak?

“Whatever it takes. If it takes the rain for us to get the ball, whatever it takes. I’ll be fired up, but everybody’s been talking about the rain and everything. It’s one of those things that if it happens, it happens, but of course the ball becomes a more of an issue in the rain when it comes to handling it from the offensive perspective. Ball carriers are more conscious and the ball does get loose more in the rain. So, rain or no rain, we’ve got to get it out. But the rain may help us a little bit.”

Fred Warner, when he started here, a lot was put on his plate and then the next season things were kind of taken off of his plate so he could play faster. He kind of thrive in that, I think more things are his responsibility now. Where do you see his role? How would you define it in comparison to the previous seasons?

“Yeah I think Fred’s role, it really hasn’t changed. It hasn’t changed much. He still has the same amount of responsibility that he’s always had when it comes to just being that quarterback of the defense. Just getting the calls, getting our guys set and lined up. That hasn’t changed and Fred’s one thing that’s been great about Fred is he’s a great communicator. And he does a really great job of communicating, but he can get that done, the communication part of it and he can go play at a high level. So, I don’t see anything where it’s changed for him. He’s able to handle it and he’s able to do it at a high level. And he’s been doing a really good job of it.”

You’re facing Indianapolis Colts QB Carson Wentz who may not be the stature of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rogers or Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson or Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray this year. But he did a good number on this team in Week Four last year, so have you gone back and looked at film like that and just kind of reminded the guys not to underestimate him?

“Yeah. We never underestimate anyone and definitely not Carson. This guy’s a big-time playmaker. He can make all the throws on the field and he’s very, very elusive in the pocket. It’s very hard to get him down. He has an uncanny ability to kind of stay alive, keep plays alive and still fire it downfield. So yeah, we have our work cut out for us with Carson, we’re not underestimating him at all. I really respect his game, respect what he’s been through in this league and bounced back and being able to go there to Indy and really continue to perform at a high level. But he’s definitely a playmaker in his league that we are conscious of.”

DL Samson Ebukam is not on the injury report this week. Does he look more explosive? Does he look different than he did when he was sort of struggling with that hamstring early on?

“Yeah, Samson has looked fine in practice. I think the explosion and everything is back. I think he’s feeling the Bye Week. It did him well. So, I think he looked explosive to me in practice and he’ll be fine to go.”

What does do right longer mean to you?

“Yeah do right longer, it just means doing your job, whether it’s the first play or it’s the second quarter, it’s the third quarter, fourth quarter, game is on the line. Like you don’t change. Do right longer means to me, it’s just being consistent from the start of the game to the finish line. It’s no ups and downs. It’s just being even keeled, doing your job, doing it at a high level every play that you’re out there. And whether that’s 60 plays, like can you do right for those 60 plays? And it’s more of a mindset and a mental strain of guys being able to lock in for the entire game. Do it right, even when it’s boring, doing it right. Even when you do it great, come back and do it again. Like you’re going to have to consistently just do your job in this league and that’s the thing that doesn’t change. No matter where you are, offense, defense, special teams, it’s about owning the fundamentals and techniques of your job consistently, down in and down out. And the team that can do that the longest, those are the teams who prevail and win on Sundays. The teams that do right longer, just doing your job, being consistent.”

You’re very familiar with the DeForest Buckner, of course. When you’re watching film of the Colts, you’re probably watching offense, but have you kind of peeked at what he’s been doing this year? And since he’s been with the Colts?

“Yeah, I’ve seen Buck, he’s still a big-time playmaker. He’s still wrecking offenses, I miss Buck. Buck was an instrumental part to this organization. He was a leader, first and foremost, leader on and off the field. The guys gravitated to Buckner. You miss him. He’s such a great guy and he’s a great player as well. Buckner, he’s still a big-time playmaker, making plays, getting the ball out for the Colts. And I know they really appreciate him and we appreciate him and we still love Buck, wish we had him. But Buck is doing great and he’ll do great for a long time, really great player. But the thing that stuck out to me about Buck is just his dedication. When it’s the offseason, he was the guy that’s here working. In season, he’s always working, always bringing other guys along with him. So, I definitely miss him.”

How does DL Nick Bosa prepare each week? Like in terms of film room or meetings, we can see what he does on the field, obviously he’s in shape. What does he do to prepare?

“Yeah. When it comes to Nick and all those guys in the room, Nick, getting in there with [defensive line] coach [Kris] [Kocurek]. Kocurek does a great job with those guys breaking down our opposing offensive lineman and really doing a great study of who they’re going against. So, he gets in with Kocurek and does a really good job of studying a tackle that he’s going against and understanding how they’re going to try to block him and just detailing it out to a point that when he lines up on a Sunday, he knows exactly how a guy’s going to block him and he knows what moves he can make. And the thing about Bosa is if something changes, he’s such an instinctive player, if it’s not that way, he’s very quick to change and react to whatever he’s given. So, he’s a very gifted athlete, first and foremost, but he’s also a very smart athlete as well, a smart pass rusher.”