Ex-Teammate of 49ers Coordinator Predicts Major Promotion in 2023

DeMeco Ryans

Getty DeMeco Ryans on July 31, 2021.

DeMeco Ryans hit a new level of elevation after the San Francisco 49ers delivered a defensive clinic on the Los Angeles Rams 24-9 on Monday, October 3 at Levi’s Stadium.

Ryans’ name trended on social media and the internet for calling a masterful game that witnessed Matthew Stafford get sacked seven times, Cooper Kupp not reaching the end zone and handed prized free agent pickup Allen Robinson a frustrating night. At not even 40 years of age, Ryans has since elevated his name as a fast-rising contender for a head coaching job in 2023.

But it’s not just analysts who believe the 38-year-old will wear a different polo shirt and NFL gear next season. One former teammate of his who chatted with Heavy’s NFL senior reporter Matt Lombardo spoke highly of Ryans’ coaching prowess — to the point where a promotion for Ryans is looking imminent.

‘I’m Not Surprised’

In Lombardo’s Heavy in the Trenches Wednesday column released on the morning of October 5, former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nolan Carroll vibrantly spoke highly of the Ex-Pro Bowl linebacker he played with from 2014 to 2015.

One trait the 35-year-old Carroll revealed to Lombardo that Ryans has is a sense of calm, even when there were tense moments on the field where one’s fiery side would’ve came out.

“DeMeco is a true leader,” Carroll told Heavy. “He was always calm. I never really saw him get angry. He had this way of getting you hyped up, but always motivating you to play for him.”

Added Lombardo: “Fast forward seven years and it is easy to see that leadership rubbing off on Ryans’ 49ers defense.”

Carroll’s Eagle years were in the latter part of Ryans’ Philly tenure. Per Pro Football Reference, Ryans snatched 334 of his 970 career tackles in an Eagles uniform — and that included collecting 127 in 2013, which was the most since his last Pro Bowl campaign of 2009.

It’s certainly not the first time Ryans has been on the head coaching radar.

Noted by Lombardo, Ryans interviewed for the Minnesota Vikings and Las Vegas Raiders head coaching vacancies in February 2022. Though he was never hired, what he called and put on film against the Rams, combined with the way his players respond and give into his coaching methods daily, will make him a favorite this upcoming year. Add Carroll as a believer.

“I’m not surprised at all by what he’s doing,” Carroll said. “He was given the keys to run that defense in Philly. He got to learn more as an assistant coach under Chip Kelly. Then, he took over and they have the right pieces in place.

“If San Francisco continues this success, I see him getting a head coaching job next year.”

‘DeMeco Is so Naturally Talented’

Carroll has endorsed Ryans as a head coaching contender for the next cycle. But what about Ryans’ head coaching boss on the 49ers’ staff?

Kyle Shanahan was asked about how much he’s witnessed Ryans’ growth as his top defensive deputy.

“DeMeco is so naturally talented and he’s good at everything he’s ever done and he really understands football,” Shanahan told reporters via 49ers Webzone. “He did as a player, he did as a quality control in his first year. He did as a linebacker coach and he has as a coordinator and he was good right away.”

Shanahan believes Ryans never got better as a coach by simply just standing next to him. But through experience and repetition.

“Anytime you have someone who does have those type abilities, the more reps they get, like everybody, they get better,” Shanahan explained. “You go through experiences and you learn from the good and the bad and that’s what’s pretty neat about DeMeco because he was going to be good regardless, but just watching him throughout last year, each game, each quarter he learned something. And he’s always trying to think and always trying to challenge his players, but always trying to keep it simple too. And it’s where it at least seems simple and that’s why he gets better every game that he goes.”

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