Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans Press Conference

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

­­Press Conference – October 27, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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How do you address Sunday’s game? Do you spend more time after a game where it’s as one-sided as that one?

“No, we do the same. Tell the truth Mondays after a game. So we approach it the same, whether it’s a win or a loss. I approach all those games the same. We go in and we talk about the corrections, the mistakes that happen, why they happen, the technique just so everyone understands what happened on a particular play. We can never get in a situation where it’s one person pointing a finger at someone else. It’s all, everybody knows in the room together. This is where the breakdown happened and this is why and this is what we have to do to fix it. So that’s how we approach every game. Win or loss.”

Is there a theme from that meeting? How do you explain what happened there?

“No theme. At the end of the day, we have to do our job better. Whatever the defense calls for, whatever that technique is, we have to do our jobs better, and that’s all across the board. It’s technique, whether it’s eyes, whatever it may be. Everybody just has to be locked in and do their job better.”

Did you find that a lot of them already knew without being told what had happened?

“Oh, for sure. Our guys know. You know from the sideline, looking at the pictures and the iPad. From the pictures, you can see what happened on the sideline. So guys knew what was going on and it’s just a matter of someone stepping up and making a play at the end of the day in this game, you have to make plays on Sunday and that’s what I was telling the guys. If you want to be a great player, everybody’s favorite player, the player they root for, they’re your favorite player because they make plays on Sunday. And that’s what guys have to step up and do, it’s not playing hero ball or being someone you’re not. It just comes with everybody playing within the defense, playing within the scheme, doing what they’re supposed to do. And you’ll make the plays you’re supposed to make.

What is the thought process by playing DB Jimmie Ward at Nickel and is that something you envisioned being a long-term thing?

“That’s what we did last week for that game and we’ll see how it goes, but Jimmie is a unique player in the sense that I think Jimmie can do things that other players just can’t do. His versatility is very unique. He’s probably one of the only guys in his league that can do safety, can come down in the box, play nickel. He can do it all, blitzing, covering. Not too many guys can do that. And that’s the unique talent that Jimmie has a God-given ability that not many guys have. So that’s what makes Jimmie unique. That’s what makes him stand out amongst other players in this league.”

He’s expressed in the past to us and I’m sure to you guys, how much he prefers to be at Free Safety. Did you talk to him? What kind of conversations go on before that move happened?

“Yeah, we had conversations and that’s between me and Jimmie. We had conversations about it.”

Your defensive end oftentimes crashed down aggressively and the Chiefs took advantage of that, Kansas Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman’s three touchdowns, Kansas Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s touchdown. Was that a scheme thing as far as something specific to what the Chiefs were doing? Because obviously that doesn’t happen every week.

“Yeah, I think you’re speaking of the jet sweeps that happen. Those things right there, we have to fit better on the back end, so it’s a fit thing from the back end level, whether it’s the second-level guys and the safeties, it’s just all about where they fit on that particular play and we have to correct those things and we didn’t do a good job on Sunday of those.”

Does CB Charvarius “Mooney” Ward have the ability to play in the slot in certain matchups?

“I think Mooney is another guy who can do whatever. He can play outside, play in the slot. I think he can do a little bit of both.”

You know the Rams probably better than any offense you’ve faced, so what jumps out at you in studying them last week?

“The thing with the Rams is they’re consistent. They’re going to do what they do. I think I said last time, it’s always the [Los Angeles Rams WR] Cooper Kupp show. That hasn’t changed over the past couple weeks. You find a way to get that guy the ball and he’s going to make a play for them. So that hasn’t changed much for those guys who are still running their same scheme. They find a way to get their play makers the ball and guys do a great job of converting, whether it’s a screen or a jet sweep type play. They do a great job of taking a short pass and taking it to the house. That’s the interesting part. That’s the cool part about their offense, relying on their play makers and you see the speed jump off with 15 [Los Angeles Rams WR Tutu Atwell], 19 [Los Angeles Rams WR Brandon Powell] in the back field, more screens to those guys. So they have a lot of different play makers, speedy guys who can make plays.”

Does that put special onus on tackling?

“Yeah, always. It always comes down to tackling. Our game is fast and it always comes down to fundamentals of football. Whatever happens, however a play breaks out – are you sprinting to the ball? Do you have effort? Is everybody swarming to the ball? And when we show up, are we tackling with the proper fundamentals? If you do that, no matter what happens, you have another chance to stand up and make a play. So it’ll always come down to the fundamentals.”

You mentioned guys not needing to be heroes or play hero ball. Did you see a little bit of that in the Chiefs game?

“No, it’s not that. I just always remind the guys that you’re not out there by yourself. You don’t have to be the savior coming to do something outside of what we ask you to do in this particular defense. I just always remind the guys that, so when things do break down, someone doesn’t leave their assignment to try to go and cover somewhere else. Just to make sure everybody is accountable to their job and what they’re asked to do, just do that to the best of your ability and our defense will be flying around making plays.”

When they come in on Monday, do you want them angry or do you want them angry and analytical? What do you want to see when they come in?

“Whatever emotion they have. I think that’s it. It’s free. Everybody’s able to express themselves differently. Some guys are angry, some guys can be analytical. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter to me either way. We’re going to correct what we need to correct and move forward, but it’s the freedom of guys just to be themselves. And that’s the special part of being here with the Niners, allowing guys just to be themselves, express themselves how they need to and everybody’s together on everything we do to get it corrected.”

In back-to-back games, the defense has given up three-and-long situations. What are you seeing in those situations specifically?

On those, you are in an advantageous position as a defense and you feel like these plays we should get off. But I think it goes back to, what I said earlier about the screens and things like that. It’s making sure we’re fitting it properly and making sure at the end of the day we’re tackling the guy and getting him on the ground. When you are in a long situation, no matter what happens, somebody has to show up and make a tackle.”

How does CB Jason Verrett look this week?

“Jason’s done good. We opened his window. Happy to just have him back out there seeing him working, it’s great. I always say it’s great to have just Jason back out there. I was showing the guys some clips of Jason from a couple years ago, how it looks from a pro, and that’s one thing I always take back for our young guys and teaching them, just showing them examples of how it looked and things that Jason did at the corner position when he was healthy and flying around just to show those guys and you can learn so much from J.V. So it’s exciting to have him back out there. Happy for him”

Are you seeing those same things on the field now?

“Well, he’s working his way back in and we’ll see where he is in the process.”