Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans Press Conference

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

­­Press Conference – October 13, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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It seemed like a lively practice today.

“Yeah, our guys had a ton of energy out there today, so it was good to see. Sometimes you go to a different place, you don’t know how guys are going to react, but we had a really great practice day full of energy. Guys were running around, competing against each other, so it was fun to be out here and just step back and see the way they work. It was an awesome practice.”

How do you go about replacing a guy like CB Emmanuel Moseley? How hard is it to see through?

“Yeah, first thing it’s just tough to see Moseley go down. Just all the things he’s battled through and the type of training camp, the season he was having and I was just fired up for him to just have a complete year and he did a lot of great things for us, so that’s tough to replace. It’s hard to replace a guy. We’ll try to do our best with the guys that we have, but losing Moseley definitely hurts, he’s just such a great teammate, great person, great player for us, and we’re truly going to miss him.”

What do you need to see from CB Jason Verrett before you kind of give him the green light to be activated?

“Yeah, we opened Jason’s window, so Jason is still working through, so we’ll give him that window to see, how he comes through on that. So we’re still taking our time with him and when the time is right, we will have him.”

Is it your eyes that are going to make that decision? Is it your feedback that you’re getting from him?

“It’s complete, it’s everybody. Everybody’s looking at that. It’s J.V., it’s coaches, it’s trainers, everybody is involved in that process. I just want to make sure we do the right thing by J.V.”

What are the Falcons biggest challenges?

“Their biggest challenges, one thing about the Falcons is they’re physical and they finish, they run the ball. They run the ball, they don’t try to hide it, they’re not disguising it. They want to run the ball, they want to play smash mouth football and they’ve done a great job this year of sticking to the run, even when they’ve been down, they continue to run the ball and they’ve been successful at it, like top three in the league at running the football, so we have our hands full when it comes to stopping the run this week.”

How has CB Ambry Thomas looked in practice the last couple weeks?

“Yeah, Ambry’s been fine. Ambry’s still working, competing and he’s looked fine.”

With the next man up mentality, when you look at guys that make a jump from year one to year two to year three, what is it about their offseason program that makes the difference for them?

“What I’ve seen, it’s just how truly committed our guys are to diving in. I think that first year it is always tough because you don’t really have an offseason. It’s combine, it’s prep, it’s training for all of those drills and so that second year, that’s where you see the biggest jump. When guys just get to focus on football, they understand the scheme that they’re in, they understand the techniques that’s asked of them. Now they can go away and truly work on those things and get better at playing football. And that’s where guys see the biggest jump that year two, if they are truly dedicated to becoming the best player that they can be. So it all starts with the mindset of the player first. Do you want to be the best? Are you going to train like that? Are you going to work and do the extra to be the best or are you just going to be average? And the average guys won’t stick around.”

DB Deommodore Lenoir, do you see that from him? Is that why he’s played more than Ambry?

“Yeah, I’ve seen D-Mo, his mindset was just different coming into year two. I could just see he had a clear mind and he came in and he worked and he got better and you saw that and you see the fruits of that. Him being on the field and earning an opportunity to be out there with the guys is because of the work that he put in and the mindset that he had that he wanted to be a part of it.”

The other week we were talking about being strong on the edges, you’re talking about how that gave you some leeway and freedom to make calls. When you take Moseley out of the equation, does that have to an effect on what you feel comfortable doing and things you can call and things like that?

“Yeah, I think anytime you lose a starter, a guy that plays at a high level like Moseley, it’s going to be different. It’s not the same and so it’s going to be a challenge for sure, but the thing about our team and the guys we have is nobody flinches. Everybody has E-Man’s back and we’re going to strap it up and be ready to go for them and everybody’s going to go out and compete at their best to get this one for E-Man.”

Along those same lines of having CB Charvarius Ward, how much confidence does that give you? And back to when you guys brought him in, how much input do you have when you guys are pursuing free agents or looking at them and what were your thoughts on him?

“Yeah, we all as coaches, defensive coaches, I look at all the positions along with the position coaches and we come together and everybody has their opinion and we kind of rank guys of where we see them and Mooney was one of those guys that we, of course, we loved. And you don’t know if you can get guys because of the contract situation, that’s not ours, but just looking at the film and watching the player. I loved his tape and loved what he could bring to our team, so I’m excited about having him and he’s been everything that we could have hoped for. He’s came out and he’s competed every day. He’s really challenged guys to become better. And that’s the one thing you like in free agents, which you don’t know when you get guys in free agency because it’s different from the draft process where you’re interviewing and you’re spending a lot of time meeting with these guys. It’s different from the free agent process, so we were lucky to get a great guy and a great player all in one.”

With a four-year guy, do you go back to the draft from four years previously and look at how much time you spent around him and kind of reflect on what kind of guy he impressed you to be back then?

“Yeah, I think you always look back at those notes and you can tell like, man, I like this guy. It’s always I like this guy when he came out, you like a certain number of guys that you highlight that you want as rookies, you can’t get them all, but you always kind of follow those guys that you like and they always stick in your mind. So it’s cool when you miss a guy as a rookie, but you’re able to come back and get him as a free agent and to get a guy like Mooney, that was an unbelievable pickup for us.”

How has DL Charles Omenihu improved since you got him a year ago?

“Yeah, Charles has shown tremendous improvement. When we first got him, he was in a different scheme, asked to do different things, so it takes time to understand how to play our scheme and Charles has done a great job of working with [defensive line] coach [Kris] Kocurek and [assistant defensive line] coach [Darryl] Tapp and you’re seeing his length and his physicality, it shows up on Sunday and he’s able to make plays because of that.”

What was the biggest difference, maybe the biggest adjustment to this school of thought?

“I think it’s just the attack style of football. When we’re coming off the ball and we’re attacking, we’re trying to reset the line of scrimmage. So it’s not only just attacking, but it’s a certain footwork, it’s a certain technique, certain things with your hands, your eyes, your keys. So it’s a lot of little intricate details that goes into playing D-line for us. It’s not just get off the ball and go freely. It’s about doing it in a controlled manner that’s allows them to continue to be the strength of the team and make plays in the run game and in the pass game.”

What do you think of your interior guys who are stepping in for DL Arik Armstead and DL Javon Kinlaw, you know DL Hassan Ridgeway, DL Kevin Givens?

“I think Kevin and Ridge, they’ve done a great job with the more reps that they’ve been given, you’ve seen them, for me, I’ve seen them get better the more they’re out there. Ridge has done a great job playing scout for us. Kevin, he’s just been consistent. Ever since Kevin has been here, even last year, Kevin is the same. He continues to make plays for us over and over again, so Kevin has done great. [DL Akeem] Spence has come in a backup role, rotational role, and he’s provided some good plays for us as a depth player, so the guys that we have, the way we rotate those guys, I think it helps. Nobody is getting too taxed or too many reps. Guys are able to go out and play fresh, play fast.”

How much has DL Drake Jackson improved since Week One?

“Yeah, Drake is still coming. Drake is competing. He’s getting better. He’s getting there. Yeah, he still has a ways to go, but he’s doing a good job of being dialed in with everything that we’re asking him to do.”

Do you expect to see Atlanta Falcons TE Kyle Pitts on Sunday and when you’re doing scout team stuff for him, do you put a receiver there or do you put the tight end there?

“Yeah, we do expect to see Kyle Pitts. I know he’s back at practice, so we expect to see him out there and scout team guys, whoever gets it, it could be a tight end, could be a receiver and that’s kind of like who Kyle Pitts is. Sometimes he can line up inside and be a blocker. Sometimes he’s out as a wide receiver running go balls, so he does a little bit of everything and I know he’s an intricate piece to what they have on their offense that allows them to do many different things out of multiple personnel groupings because of the flexibility that Kyle gives them.”

How has the other tight TE Parker Hesse looked and does he give them a different look when he’s in the backfield?

“Yeah, I think what’s cool about their offense is they have all these different tight ends and backs, but they all kind of play the same position, so they do a lot of different things with a lot of different people and I think it’s cool for them because they can get to a lot of different plays with multiple people and try to confuse defenses and they do a good job of mixing it up.”

Atlanta Falcons QB Marcus Mariota’s runs are coming in a bunch of different ways, whether they’re designed or– do you worry about getting flushed out with that pass rush and him turning on the edge?

“Yeah, well first things first for this week we’re worried about stopping the run. That’s one thing that we’re committed to and we know they’re going to be committed to it as well.”

How has Mariota changed and evolved the system watching him so far?

“Yeah, I think the thing with Mariota is, what he brings to that team, his ability with the quarterback run threat. Like when an offense has that has that threat, it’s tough on a defense you have to account for the quarterback, you have to play 11-on-11 football. So he brings that element to them, which makes them even better because they’re really good at just running normal runs and then you throw in the quarterback run element. It’s a lot to defend. So we have our hands full, but we’re up for the challenge.”