Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans Press Conference

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

Press Conference – August 11, 2021

San Francisco 49ers

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I think we see that you guys signed S Ha Ha Clinton Dix. How do you see that whole safety position kind of shake out with all the injuries you’ve had and the depth you’ve had to throw out there?

“Yeah. Adding Ha Ha is just, we need more depth, more bodies. Ha Ha’s a guy who’s competed in this league, started in this league and played good ball in the league. So looking to add some depth at that position. So that’s the reason there for signing him.”

We saw S Jaquiski Tartt running around. What would it mean to get him back eventually and what does he add to this defense?

“Tartt is a guy who’s, he’s been in the system for a while, done it at a high level. So whenever Tartt is ready and feeling better we’ll be happy to have him out here.”

Whenever one of your guys gets a turnover or takeaway or an interception, do you reward them in the meeting rooms?

“We’re always, everything we do is about taking the ball away. You know, that’s the main focus as a defense. If we get turnovers, we take the ball away, our percentage, our chances of winning that game goes up tremendously. So that’s always my main focus is how are we attacking the ball? How many turnovers are we getting every day? And we have a fun time with it in there. We throw pictures up of guys, you know, getting interceptions or returning a touchdown. So it’s fun. We keep it fun, but make sure that everybody knows that it’s all about the ball, every play.”

On that same note, S Talanoa Hufanga had maybe the interception or the play of camp. What was your reaction to that play and then how are his eyes, how is his eye positioning?

“I was really excited to see the play Huff made. It was an awesome play. I was excited for him to make that play, continue to build confidence. He’s getting better and better each day. I think coach [safeties coach Daniel] Bullocks, coach [defensive passing game specialist/secondary coach Cory] Undlin, they’re doing an awesome job with him. Really smart guy. He’s doing a great job and he’s progressing every day. So I was excited. I think I jumped up with him when he made that play. I was very excited to see that.”

What kind of growth have you seen from LB Jonas Griffith?

“Jonas is doing good. Jonas is a really smart guy. He’s able to handle a lot, able to put a lot on his plate. He’s able to communicate really well, the defense, and Jonas is kind of a step behind not getting a rookie minicamp or OTAs last year. So seeing what he had to battle through last year, where he is now, he’s done a good job for us.”

How excited are you to have an in-game situation where you’ll be calling plays? How much are you thinking about just that whole process in terms of calling plays, doing it all outside of a practice?

“Yeah, for all of our guys, we’re very excited to get into a game situation, real live game. I know we’re tired of going against each other. It’s getting chippy on both sides. Everybody started going against each other. So I’m excited that the guys have the opportunity to go against a different team. And I’m also excited to, you know it is a first time calling plays. So I’m excited to kind of get that under my belt for the first time to see how it goes. But it’s been awesome. We have a great staff. Those guys have been great. I know they’ll be great during the game-planning process and all those things throughout the game. So, I’m surrounded by a lot of good coaches and looking forward to those guys helping me out.”

DL Jordan Willis has strung along a couple of nice practices. What have you seen from him?

“Jordan has done good. He’s battled through. I don’t think he’s missed a rep since training camp started. Jordan is a tough guy, physical guy, and he’s definitely gotten better as well. You can tell. He worked during the offseason, went and got some work in with [Jim] Washburn and he’s done an excellent job this camp. He looks much better. We got him in kind of late to mid-season last year. So he wasn’t used to our techniques and how we play D-Line. So I think offseason OTAs and now training camp has been huge for Jordan. So he feels more comfortable with the technique that we’re asking him to do. And you can tell he’s making plays, he’s in the backfield setting the edge and I like where he’s headed.”

What’s your philosophy on calling plays for the first time? How much do you keep in your back pocket so the Lions don’t know what’s coming?

“For this game, there’s not a huge game plan. At the end of the day I really just want to go see our guys go out and compete, just play the techniques we’ve been asking them to do. I just want to see them go execute. That’s the biggest thing. It’s not about me trying to game plan against them or put them in the best look. I just want to see them go out and play ball and see how each guy can handle it. A lot of young guys we have on our defense, I want to see how they handle it when the lights come on. That’s the biggest thing that will be my takeaway from this game.”

So is your thought process just to keep it basic here?

“Oh yeah, for sure. It’ll be basic. Just let the guys go play. It would be basic and not an extensive game plan. We’ll keep a small menu that allows our guys to go play fast.”

What was your biggest point of offseason focus for CB Emmanuel Moseley and has he shown improvement in whatever that was so far?

“E-Man is E-Man. He’s just, he’s always consistent. He’s always been consistent. He’s always been a true competitor. I love the energy that he plays with every day. He competes every day. So E-Man is just E-Man, nothing that he had to do drastic to get better at or improve. He just goes out there and being himself, he’s done an excellent job.”

These guys lift weights right before we see them so we can’t tell if they’ve gotten bigger or not in the offseason. But he did look bigger when he spoke to us. Is that a focus for him, just getting stronger at the line?

“Yeah. I think being a young player and as you progress in your career, for E-Man, that’s probably a goal for everyone is continue to get bigger, faster, stronger, and he’s done that. You see the plays that he’s making out here at practice, the way he’s explosive out of his break, breaking on the ball. You know, he seems like every day he’s getting a PBU or interception, making some type of big play. Whether it’s third down, red zone, E-Man, [CB Jason] Verrett, those are guys that we can count on to go out and make big plays for us.”