Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans Press Conference

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

­­Press Conference – September 30, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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No DL Javon Kinlaw or DL Arik Armstead again today in practice, correct?

“Yeah, those guys will be out there for us. They’ll be fine. Yeah.”

I’m sorry, you’re saying that they’ll play Monday?

“Well, I’m not talking about them playing. I’m just saying those guys will be fine for us.”

How has DL Samson Ebukam come along? He got the first sack of the season three snaps into the season, and then none since, but you’ve gotten really good pressure out of that whole defensive front. So what are you seeing out of your edge rushers?

“I think the thing about our group is it’s about them rushing together as a group. You know [DL Nick] Bosa gets a lot of attention as the edge rusher, which is rightfully so, because he’s such a dynamic player. So it’s just about all those guys, just whoever, it’s opposite him or whoever’s inside, it’s all about those guys rushing together as one. So the more they can be coordinated, make sure they’re communicating with their stunts and games the proper way, and rushing together like that, that’s what makes our group go and that’s what makes our group effective is all those guys working together.”

DL Kevin Givens doesn’t get talked about a lot, but it seems like he’s been making an impact the last few games. What are you seeing from Kevin?

“Yeah, I think Kevin has picked up right where he left off last season. Kevin, he’s always done a really good job for us inside, whether it’s against the run and also being able to affect the passer. Kevin has been very consistent for us and he’s showing up these first three games. He’s showing up. He did a really good job our last game versus Denver. He made plays for us, so Kevin has been very consistent. He’s an active guy inside, really an athletic guy for his size, who can really make plays be disruptive in the backfield. So I’m very pleased with where Kevin is for us.”

DB Deommodore Lenoir was primarily an outside corner in college and he said he always saw himself that way, except for recently, and now he says he loves it. He feels like he’s found a new home, basically. What enabled him to kind of make that transition?

“Yeah, I think it’s just with all young players, it takes time, with different guys, it takes time. I think you’ve seen the mindset change over the past couple weeks and he’s been doing a really good job in practices and he earned that right.”

No Free Agent WR Odell Beckham Jr. for the Rams this year, where are they going in his absence? Who are they turning to?

“Yeah, I think with that, [Los Angeles Rams WR] Allen Robinson II, he’s a really good player for them, but with them adding him, he’s been a good add for them. And also, it’s the [Los Angeles Rams WR] Cooper Kupp show, like no matter how you try to slice it up, whether the guys are doubling, whatever it is, the guy finds a way. I think the connection and chemistry with him and [Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew] Stafford is one of the best I’ve seen in the league in a long time. Those guys are always in sync and they’re always on the same page, which makes it tough as a defense to defend those guys because they’re so good, they’re so precise at what they do that they make it a really tough challenge.”

They’ve added that wrinkle with WR Ben Skowronek as like a fullback and they use that a little bit, but what kind of challenges does something as unique as that present for you?

“I don’t see as much of a challenge for teams that, for us, like we’ve seen two back runs, going against our offense guys in the backfield, we’ve seen that before, so they put it on offense, so it’s not anything surprising for us defensively, because we’ve seen two back runs. We’ve seen passes out of two back before, so it’s something you have to be aware of, which we’ve seen on tape and they do a really good job. He’s not only just a receiver, he gets back there and he does a really good job of blocking, whether it’s linebackers, nickels, like he’s a tough player who does a really good job for them in the run game, so we definitely respect what he’s done and what he’s put on tape. We’re definitely not taking him lightly and the things he can do. When you have a player who can play outside and move into fullback, it definitely helps you as a play caller offensively with the multiple things you can do.”

CB Emmanuel Moseley and WR Jauan Jennings have a past playing together back to college. When you see them go up against each other in practice, is there ever any extra juice or spice there?

“Yeah, both of those guys are very competitive, fiery guys and it’s really cool to see where both of them started in the NFL, both of them started on the practice squad, like that’s what the league is about. It doesn’t matter where you get in, but it’s about the attitude and the mentality that you bring, that it doesn’t matter that I’m practice squad, undrafted, seventh-round. It’s about that daily grind of continuing to get better and that’s what you see from E-Man and Jauan. Those are two guys who have become really good players for us, guys we count on Sundays and they come through in the clutch. So it’s a cool story with both of those guys being teammates in college and to be teammates here in the NFL and both guys still excelling at their craft and still not only thinking that they’ve made it and they’ve arrived, but I see two guys there who continue to push each other and continue to get better at practice.”

You’ve faced the Rams so many times throughout the years, do they essentially do the same things on offense, the same principles or have they changed and evolved throughout the years?

“Offenses are always changing. They always have their wrinkles, but I think every offense has their staple. Staple in the run game, staple in the pass game and then you have wrinkles off of that, so I think [Los Angeles Rams head coach] Sean [McVay] and those guys have done a really good job of being really good at the things they do, but also throwing the wrinkles in to keep you off guard and keep you off balance as a defense, so those guys do a great job. Much respect to those guys and the way they operate.”

According to PFF, you have two top 10 safeties. How does that change when DB Jimmie Ward comes back? How do you see that room evolving with Jimmie back?

“Whenever Jimmie gets back, we’ll be happy to have Jimmy and whenever you can say we’re getting a player like Jimmie Ward back, that’s a great problem to have. So we’ll figure that out once we cross that bridge, but I can’t say enough about [S Tashaun] Gipson [Sr.] and [S] Talanoa [Hufanga] and what they’ve done back there and the instant chemistry that they’ve built in such a short time, you don’t see that happen much. But I think with Gipson being a veteran and Huf just soaking in everything all the knowledge that Gip has to offer him, it’s been cool to see.”

Why do you think that happened?

In this league, I always talk about it, for Gipson, it’s just what the veterans do in this league. The league has always been about giving back so the younger players now are standing on the shoulders of the guys who came before us, whether there were guys fighting for free agency to get guys to the point where they’re getting the contracts they’re getting now. Like older players always pave the path for the younger guys. And so it’s a respect factor, as what are you leaving the game? What are you leaving guys in the locker room? As you’re an older veteran, that are you giving back to the game? Because we’ve all received something from players who come before us, so that’s what the league is all about. That’s what true locker room is about when you have older guys who can, not worry about themselves, but it’s all about giving back to the younger players.”

Last night there was pretty scary scene with Miami and Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa. I’m curious what your reaction was to it and what concerns you have about the concussion protocol?

“Yeah, it was it was tough to watch. Watching Tua go down, I was just praying that he’s okay. For me, I hate to see any player go through that and we know he had it on Sunday and, for it to happen to him again on Thursday, it’s just something you don’t want to see happen to anybody. And we just have to trust that the concussion protocols that we have in place, we have to trust that those things are set up to be at the best interest of our players and the best interest of our game because our game is nothing without the players and them being healthy. That’s the most important thing. Health and safety is the first and foremost. That’s the most important thing about the game and that’s what allows the game to grow is our guys being healthy and being able to push through, so we’re hoping that Tua is okay and everything is fine and just trusting that those protocols are good for us.”

Some of Talanoa’s past coaches have talked about how many questions he used to ask, almost to the point of like, ‘stop.’ Does he still have that or did he have that as a rookie?

“Yeah, he asks questions and I’m like, bring them on, so I don’t know what’s wrong with those other coaches, but I’m always like bring it on. When the player is asking questions, I think as a coach, like you want guys who are, man, they want to know the why. Like why are we doing this? Or coach, how exactly do you want me, where you want me to be on this? I love that in Huff. I love that in all of players. If you’re asking those questions that lets me know as a coach that you’re into it and you want to know the why. You want to know why. Not just, oh, I’m just doing something just because the coach told me to do it. And that’s what separates Huf and that’s why he’s sticking out amongst everybody is because he asks those questions, he’s processing everything throughout the week so when you see him on Sunday, he can cut it loose and that’s what everybody’s seen and that’s why he’s been exciting to watch these first three weeks just because of those questions.”