Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans Press Conference

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

Press Conference – August 20, 2021

San Francisco 49ers

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What did you set out to accomplish today?

“Today, the biggest thing is we just wanted the guys to come out and correct the mistakes that we had yesterday and just clean it up and just pick up the intensity more on the defensive side. I felt the urgency, I felt the intensity from our defense in the team periods.”

LB Fred Warner, in particular, looked like he was kind of sticking it to some guys.

“Yeah. Fred was all over the place as normal. Just a dynamic player who’s always around the ball. Always making plays. Finds himself always attacking the ball and getting the ball out. That’s the type of style of defense we want to play, attacking the ball and Fred exemplifies that to the max.”

What kind of urgency is there knowing you’ve got Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert back there and are you happy with how you played him?

“Herbert is a really great talent. He did a great job throughout the week giving us some really good looks. He’s a really talented quarterback. The Chargers are in good hands with the quarterback that they have.”

How did S Talanoa Hufanga do today?

“Talanoa, he did fine. Still is a young player, he still has some mistakes to clean up and has some things that he’s still working through, but Talanoa is doing fine. He’s progressing. I see him getting better every week so he just keeps progressing, he’s on the right track.”

With S Tavon Wilson being out today with a vet day, were you excited to see how Talanoa looked with the first team?

“Oh, for sure. He’s earned that right because of the plays he’s made. He continues to progress. Talanoa, he’s on the right track. He just has to keep honing in on his techniques and his fundamentals to just keep getting better every day. That’s the goal for all of our rookies. We come out to these practices, can you get better? Did you improve from day one to day two? That’s the biggest thing that I look at, that I want to see, especially from our younger guys.”

When you scrimmage a team twice, do you kind of grade differently during the game because they have been exposed to the offense a little bit more? How do you approach a game after a two-day scrimmage?

“It’s still the same for us. We still want to see guys have corrected things, who can go out and perform. Now it’s time to see guys tackle live, can they do it live and not just thud up and let guys go. So, it’s a chance to see guys really be able to cut loose and make plays if we’re running blitzes and things like that can they get the quarterback down. So those are the things that I try to look at in the game, can guys actually finish. And not in a practice mode but can they actually finish the plays.”

On a lot of the completions Hufanga was the closest guy there. Could he have gotten his hands on some more footballs? Could he have broken it up?

“Yeah, I’ll have to look at the film to see on that one. I’m not sure, there was probably some communication breakdowns there that happened in the red zone. We saw a lot of competitions. Our guys weren’t communicating as much as I would’ve liked them too. I’m kind of disappointed for that period.”

Did practice get shortened up a little bit? It was kind of in the middle of the drill there.
“Yeah, we were starting two-minute there and practice got cut short. It was still great work. These past two days have been great I think for both sides. We still got a lot of good work. Seeing a different style of offense for us defensively, it was really good to go against these guys.”

That would have been the last drill, last period?

“Yeah, that would have been our last two-minute drive there.”

Do you know why practice got cut short?

“I’m not sure.”

What’s it going to be like next week getting DL Nick Bosa into the team drills? And how do you feel like the defensive line has come along so far without him?

“Yeah I think overall our defensive line has done a really outstanding job throughout camp. They’ve had constant pressure. Constant knockback from our D-Line. They’re constantly in the backfield causing havoc and that’s what I expect from our D-Line because everything with our defense starts with our D-Line. Them attacking, playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage and I’ve felt that from them all throughout camp and also the past two days. They were causing havoc in the backfield and that’s the identity we want for our D-Line. So adding Bosa next week, we’ll see how he goes. Easing him back in coming off of injury, it’ll be great just to have him out there and his presence will be felt.”

Can you tell how regular season ready Nick is at this point just by watching him do stuff?

“On the side it looks really good. I would say that his drills, all the individual stuff that he’s doing, he’s looking fast, he’s looking explosive. So, it’s just a matter of anytime guys come back off of injuries the biggest hurdle is just mentally. Just falling on the ground and getting up and understanding that you’re okay. Most guys just have to go through that process. So once he goes through that and sees that he’s fine, then I think he’s going to be better than he was his rookie year.”

It seems like DL Samson Ebukam drew a couple of holding penalties today. As far as his role this year versus what it’s been in the past, is that something you want to see from him? Sort of setting that edge and being the guy on the corner there?

“Yeah, for sure. For Samson, that’s one thing we were excited about watching him in free agency was his ability to play physical and to set the edge. He can do that first and then just he is always consistently moving towards the quarterback. He never stops. His motor is always turning, he’s always in the backfield working. So, he has to learn our style, our techniques and I think he’s come along. He was set back a little bit there, missed time, but I see him progressing as well over the past few days. As you see out here in practice he was in the backfield a lot.”

What kind of growth have you seen from CB Ambry Thomas and CB Deommodore Lenoir?

“Yeah, our rookie corners, both Ambry and D-Mo, I feel like from where they started they’ve come a long way and they still have a longways to go. For our corners, and for young corners in general in this league, that’s a tough position to be put in. Guarding the best players, these wide receivers. For those guys to go up against [Los Angeles Chargers WR] Kennan Allen. These are reps that are just so valuable for our guys. So they were able to get better today, but they’re growing. They’re growing as all our young guys are, they’re growing, they’re working through some things. They‘re growing and I like where they’re heading.”

Their young attitude especially with Talanoa as well. Do you appreciate their enthusiasm?

“Oh, for sure. That’s the one thing that we want on our defense is guys who want to have fun playing the game and play with an enthusiastic attitude. That’s one thing you see, D-Mo made a nice interception yesterday and the whole sideline just went crazy. Everybody was excited, excited to see their brother make a play and that’s what it’s all about.”