Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans Press Conference
Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans
Press Conference – January 19, 2023
San Francisco 49ers
When getting ready for this Cowboys team, is it basically the same as last year?
“Yeah, they do a lot of similar things; the same things they did last year, so it is similar in that sense, but it’s also different in that it’s a new year, it’s a new time, new team, new people. It is different with the preparations as opposed to how are we going to attack them? And we have to see how they’re coming out versus us and their plan, so it’s always different. Each opponent, no matter how many times you play them or when you play them, it’s always a little different.”
When you look at them on film, what distinguishes what they do offensively and the challenges they present as opposed to other teams you might face?
“The first thing with Dallas is the run game. With their offensive line, they do a really good job of blocking up front and the run game is really where they start. I think [Dallas Cowboys RB Tony] Pollard is a very explosive, dynamic back who can finish; home run speed. [Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott] Zeke is still playing well, a physical runner, so we have to do a really good job of stopping the run. And [Dallas Cowboys QB] Dak [Prescott] is playing at a high level. He did a really good job on Monday night of making plays, putting his team in position to win the game, keeping plays alive, so he’s done a really good job there of leading that unit. And they’re clicking right now. Their playmakers are making plays for them, they’re playing really good ball on defense. They’re creating turnovers, which is what you need to do to play great defense, so all around, it’s a really good team we’re playing and a really tough challenge for us.”
Have you played a team with this kind of offensive skill and ability since Kansas City?
“We’ve had a few matchups; each team poses different threats. These guys have threats at the wide receiver level, running back level, so all skill positions, their tight end, [Dallas Cowboys TE Dalton]. Schultz, he’s playing really well. He makes a lot of plays down the seam, so all around they have playmakers. This team is very talented at all levels, so it’ll be a really nice matchup for us.”
When you watch LB Fred Warner on gamedays and pregame warmups, halftime, he’s constantly encouraging people, the energy guy. Is that what you did when you were a middle linebacker? Is that a middle linebacker thing or is that unique to Fred Warner?
“It depends on the guy, first and foremost. I was similar to that in breaking the team down in the huddles, making sure the guys were upbeat and into it, really motivating the guys. That’s how I did it when I was a middle linebacker and Fred, he does it in his own way, but I love the energy, I love the leadership that Fred provides for our team. Not only for the defense. He’s just an outstanding guy, outstanding player and he does an outstanding job of motivating the guys and making sure they’re locked in, not just on game day. That’s what sets him apart. Fred is the same way throughout the week, so it’s not just on gameday for the cameras. He is who he is. He’s been consistent for us. He’s a consistent leader, steady in his preparation, steady in his performance as well.”
DL Nick Bosa has had such an amazing year. The last three games, he only had one sack, which is not really Bosa-like. What do you see from him lately? Are there things you can do to sort of free him up?
“Bosa is Bosa. Nothing has changed. Bosa is Bosa. He’s still a game-wrecker for us. We’re anticipating that he can be that for us on Sunday.”
I know you don’t want to belabor your head coaching interviews, but physically, how are those conducted? Is that remotely? Do the teams come out this way? How does that go?
“Yeah, those will all get handled. They’re all different. Some are Zoom, some are in person. So those all get handled differently.”
Will the interview you have today be virtual or in person?
“That will be in person.”
I know you’re very tight with new Tennessee Titans GM Ran Carthon. What are the Tennessee Titans getting with him as GM?
“I think with Ran, the Titans are getting a dynamic leader. That’s what Ran is. Ran has been a fantastic leader since the first day I met him here. He’s very knowledgeable of personnel, college and the pro side. He’s a very knowledge guy, very well connected, knows a lot of people, knows a lot about football. Seeing it from a lot of different perspectives with his father being a coach, him being a former player in the NFL as well, so he’s seen it on all facets and he’s done a really good job of scouting really good talent and really helping us to acquire some really good talent here, so I wish Ran nothing but the best. I know he’ll do a fantastic job in Tennessee and I couldn’t be prouder of Ran and the work that he’s done and to see him get the GM job there, it’s really cool to see and I’m proud of him. I’m happy for him.”
What is the big picture of what the 49ers have done as far as developing head coaching candidates and also GM candidates?
“It’s just an outstanding organization from top down. Just how things here are done, first class. [General manager] John [Lynch] and [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] have done an outstanding job of just bringing in the right people. And when you have everybody that comes here, everybody’s opinion matters. Everybody feels like they’re a part of what we’re doing here and I think that’s the reason why the organization has been so successful. It’s just built with the right people in mind. When you have good people, you can do really good things. And that’s what we’ve done here.”
Is there a player, a free agent that you guys have brought in in recent years that you remember working with Ran closely with to bring that player in?
“Not right off the bat. I wish I had one for you. We’ve talked about a ton of players, whether it’s college or pro, so we’re always talking about players and the type of player that we’re looking for.”
Kind of a broad question, but Kyle gets so much publicity for being a playcaller and a play designer, but beyond just the calling of the play, you have to be able to teach 11 guys to execute a play and do it during a compacted week. Is there anything you can relay to why he’s good at that? Why do the 49ers seem so good at that one particular thing?
“Kyle is really good at that because it’s the mindset and his approach. He’s very detailed in everything that he does. That’s why our offense, it’s always clicking. It’s not just putting in plays just to put them in. It’s well thought out, it’s well schemed and everything about it from the finest detail to the motions, the hat placement of the offensive line, hat placement of the tight ends when they are blocking receivers, their track, when they’re blocking, everything is well thought out and that’s why he’s on the best playcallers in the league. He’s not just copying plays from other people. He has that very creative mind and he’s always putting his players in position to make plays. And that’s what sets him apart from all the other coordinators in the league.”
You strike me as a guy who does time management pretty well, so I’m wondering if that’s being put to the test ultimately this week with balancing these responsibilities and the other teams that are interested in you.
“Yeah, with everything that you do as a coach, you’re trying to crunch a lot of things in. You’re trying to really dissect a lot of information in a certain manner of time, so time management is a very crucial thing to have. And I know how to make the main thing the main thing and the main thing this week is the Cowboys.”
The 49ers offense, they scored 41 points last week and they see things that they can get better at. How’s your focus this week as far as that goes on the defensive side? Do you have a laundry list of things that you presented to your players of this can be tightened up even better?
“For sure. Always. We’re always trying to get better and that’s one thing that’s really cool about our defense. Like nobody’s just resting on what they’ve done. Nobody’s just satisfied with what we’ve done. I didn’t like the way we came out last week that wasn’t representative of who we are, so we can come out better to start the game. We can set the tempo better. We can play with better pad leverage on defense. We can get off of blocks better, we can finish better, so there are always things that we’re pushing our guys to be better at. We’re not satisfied. How can we play our absolute best at the time we need it most and there’s no better time right now. Playoffs, Cowboys, Niners, our defense has to play their absolute best if we want to move forward.”