The 49ers Have a New Defensive and Offensive Coordinator


Getty Former defensive coordinator Robert Saleh of the San Francisco 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers said farewell to defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur as both headed to the New York Jets to be head coach and offensive coordinator.

To fill their roles, the Niners promoted inside linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans to replace Saleh at defensive coordinator. And run game coordinator Mike McDaniel took over LaFleur’s duties as offensive coordinator.

These moves were no surprise since Kyle Shanahan knew Saleh would be taking someone from the staff to join him at the Jets.

 Ryans Climbed the Ranks Quickley

Once Saleh took the job with New York, Shanahan hinted that he had a lot of faith in Ryans.

“It’s only a matter of time before DeMeco is a coordinator in this league,” Shanahan said via ESPN. “It’s a matter of time before DeMeco will be a head coach.”

Ryans spent 10 years in the NFL as a linebacker for the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles. He retired in 2015 and was hired to Shanahan’s staff in 2017 as a defensive quality control coach. It took just a year before he was promoted to inside linebackers coach in 2018.

Over the past three seasons, Ryans has played a big role in the success of All Pro and Pro Bowl linebacke Fred Warner. Like Shanahan, Warner has a lot of faith in Ryans and credits him for his success along the way.

“He started as an LB coach the same year I came in as a rookie, and the progress you’ve seen me make is a direct reflection of the type of coach and person that he is,” Warner said, per ESPN. “He’s so passionate about what he does. It’s not a mystery why he was so successful in the NFL. He’s such a smart mind and him and Saleh are very similar in that way where they’re both really smart and know exactly what they want. … He’s an amazing teacher. I’ve learned so much from him and continue to learn so much, and I think that’s the key to being a great coach.”

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Shanahan Will Continue to Call Plays

The Miami Dolphins were very interested in McDaniel for their open offensive coordinator job, but Shanahan was quick to promoted him to ensure he stayed.

Although McDaniel is stepping up as offensive coordinator, Shanahan will still take care of play calling while McDaniel handles game planning and play design.

Shanahan and McDaniel have a long history as McDaniel started his career as an intern with the Broncos

McDaniel has long been one of Shanahan’s closest coaching confidants, as he began his career as an intern with the Denver Broncos under Kyle’s father, Mike Shanahan. After that, he followed Shanahan to the the Houston Texans and was with him in Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta before heading to the Bay Area.

McDaniel is known for his creatic play designs. With the help of McDaniel over the past two seasons, the 49ers have sealed the No. 6 spot in the league in rushing yards and tied for third in rushing touchdowns.

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