Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans Press Conference
Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans
Press Conference – December 16, 2021
San Francisco 49ers
I’ll start with a question about DL Nick Bosa. How impressed are you by the stamina he has, not only every game he is out there, but he’s delivering half of his sacks after the third quarter, fourth quarter, overtime? What does that tell you about Nick and how he’s delivered in the clutch all season?
“Yeah, again for Nick, I think he’s having an unbelievable year. A lot of people forget the guy is coming back off of an ACL and he continues to get better and better each week. It’s probably one of the most impressive things I’ve seen from a player and it’s just a credit to him for the way he works, the way he practices, he practices hard. Football is important to him and it shows. There’s no doubt of my mind or no reason why Nick shouldn’t have some attention for Defensive Player of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year. This guy has done it all. He’s definitely been our MVP and I’m so happy to have him on our side, just for everything that he does for us when it comes to getting after the quarterback. And not only that, but his physicality in the run game as well. Just a complete player and one of the best players in the NFL and we’re very happy to have him. I love the way he works, love the way he brings other guys along with him. It’s everything you can ask for in a player.”
So much of what he’s doing is happening even though he’s facing more double teams than any other edge rusher. And I know that key play, where you sent CB K’Waun Williams on the blitz, they couldn’t double team him. How much of your job during a game are you thinking of how do I schematically try to get Bosa in position to face a single team?
“Yeah, well, it’s ongoing throughout the game and we want to try to alleviate some of those double teams as much as possible. Yeah, he is getting doubled more than anyone in the league and he’s still one of the most productive defensive ends in the NFL. No one else is getting doubled more than him, so again, teams have to account for him, but also we try to move him around and put him in different positions so we can try to help with some of that schematically. We can try to help so he’s not getting double teamed, just feeling it out throughout the game as much as I can. I want to get him to the quarterback, so whatever we have to do to get him there, that’s what we’ll do.”
Has that lessened at all, the double teams since he’s started choosing which side to go on?
“No, it hasn’t lessened. I wish it would but the double teams haven’t lessened. Even though he’s moving around a good amount, it still hasn’t, which teams have to account for Nick because you know how productive he is and how he can definitely wreck a game if you don’t. So all eyes are on him all the time.”
Do most opponents line their tight ends up on the right side? It seemed like that’s what the Bengals were doing mostly with their guys out there on their right.
“Yeah. Most times teams will do a tight end or a back in what we call a double chipper look. They’ll get in those looks to try to protect themselves as much as they can, but again, we try to move him around as much as we can so he can avoid those situations.”
Another Bosa question, but that Week 3 game against Green Bay was so noticeable how much he got chipped. Has moving him around lessened that or have you guys done anything else schematically, so that doesn’t happen again or as much?
“Yeah, it can happen, it depends, a lot goes into it. It’s down and distance. It’s a lot of personnel. It’s a lot of different things that go into whatever the offense is thinking at that time and how they want to protect it at that particular time. So a lot of different things go in it. We don’t always know how it’s going to shape out, but between [defensive line] coach [Kris] Kocurek and myself, we try to do the best job we can as far as moving him around as much as possible.”
How do you assess CB Ambry Thomas’ first start?
“I thought Ambry had some encouraging snaps out there and it was his first time with that much action in the NFL. For his first game, I thought he did some good things, he did some encouraging things and it’s a lot for him to grow from, a lot for him to learn from as well, with him being out there as much as he did. And one thing I liked about Ambry, he didn’t blink. He had some penalties, gave up a play, but he didn’t blink. He just got right back out there. He continued to compete and I love that about him. I liked his attitude throughout the game. I like that he was flying around, so he did something things there for us that he can definitely grow from.”
One of the initial challenges for Ambry, this is rewinding to training camp, was to get stronger, to put on more muscle in the weight room. Where is he at now as far as is he where you want him to be physically?
“Yeah, I think he as a rookie, the rookies are never there their first year. Just thinking about guys and you look back at their picture when they were rookies and they’re all kind of frail, skinny. First year, we all are. Then you come back two, three years later, guys are bulked up from being in the NFL, true NFL offseason. So that’s just the progression of all players, no matter the position. So he’ll continue to get stronger and grow.”
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said he liked his aggressiveness on the line, just his jamming receivers. Do you see that from him as well?
“Oh for sure. I thought he was physical at the line. I thought he did a really nice job of jamming the receivers. He was doing his job, he was where he was supposed to be, he was accountable. I liked everything he did out there. There’s some plays that as a rookie, you’re going to get beat on. It was a good thing that it happened and we were able to win that game and he can learn from those mistakes as well and continue to grow. So I’m encouraged with him at the line being aggressive, him playing in coverage. I thought he did some good things.”
Is that something you asked him to do or you were trying to get him to do off the line?
“It’s all just mixing the scheme, so like I said, he did a good job of just executing the scheme of what we asked him to do.”
Is that something you saw him do a lot at Michigan? Is that what kind of attracted you guys to him? Just the way that he jammed and played press?
“Yeah, I think what attracted us to him is just his length, first off, and his speed and him down the field. He made some really nice plays in college and Ambry is still coming back. He didn’t play football last year, so he’s still getting back into of the swing of things. Missing a whole year from football is tough, so he’s still growing and developing from that standpoint.”
How do you prepare for the dual threat of Atlanta Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson and is having WR Deebo Samuel across the line help at all with that?
“Cordarrelle, he’s a really good player and he’s their top playmaker. They find as many ways as possible to get him the ball, whether he’s at running back, receiver, it really doesn’t matter. He lines up all over the place and he’s definitely made some big time plays for them. I like his style. He’s a physical runner. He’s not just a wide receiver playing running back, he is a true running back. He plays behind his pads and he’s been doing a really nice job for them all year.”