The 49ers are expected to promote linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans to defensive coordinator, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Ryans would take over for Robert Saleh, who has agreed to become the Jets’ new head coach.
Saleh may want to bring Ryans with him to New York, but the Jets would have to work something out with the Niners in order to facilitate the lateral move. Ryans has impressed in SF, molding youngsters Dre Greenlaw, Fred Warner, and Azeez Al-Shaair into quality linebackers. Thanks in part to Ryans’ guidance, Warner went from a third-round prospect to a Pro Bowler in 2020.
Ryans may be tasked with a new-look defense in 2021. Safety Jaquiski Tartt, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, and defensive ends Ronald Blair and Kerry Hyder are set for free agency. Those players could potentially reunite with Saleh on the East Coast, as noted by Matt Barrows and David Lombardi of The Athletic.
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