As his name continues to swirl as a head coaching candidate for 2023, DeMeco Ryans has an advantage this week: No distractions and more time for the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator to prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles during NFC Championship game week.
Why? An NFL rule is helping prevent Ryans from being contacted for more head coaching interviews during the conference title week.
First noted by ESPN 49ers reporter Nick Wagoner on Tuesday, January 24, Ryans benefits from an NFL rule involving future interviews for the rest of the week.
“Per league rules, no head coach interviews can take place for 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans (or any assistant still coaching) this week,” Wagoner stated. “Ryans eligible for second interviews beginning on January 30 but must be completed by February 5 if Niners advance to Super Bowl.”
Moreover, Ryans was contacted by a team this week — but league rules prevents that team from conducting an interview this week.
“Additionally, to clear up some confusion: Source says the [Carolina] Panthers did indeed request interview with Ryans. He did not turn down the request, but the sides were unable to work out logistics during the open window for talks last week,” Wagoner said. “Ryans only spoken to Denver, Houston so far.”
Again, this ruling helps Ryans and the 49ers for the remainder of the week. His entire focus can be on game-planning for Jalen Hurts, DeVonta Smith, A.J. Brown and company with the NFC title on the line for Sunday, January 29 at a place Ryans once played at for his final four seasons at linebacker: Lincoln Financial Field in Philly.
Ryans Cancelled 2 Interviews Before Playoff Win, Insider Says
Turns out Ryans prevented himself from having a loaded schedule before the divisional win.
Reported by Jay Glazer on Fox NFL Sunday on Sunday, January 22, Ryans turned down two interview requests with the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals.
“He had four job interviews lined up for yesterday (Saturday). He got through the first two which were the Broncos and Texans and then said, ‘I’m going to cancel the other two because I have to really get back and focus on the Dallas Cowboys,'” Glazer detailed.
Ryans’ Defense is ‘a Giant Python,’ Renowned NFL Film Guru Says
Ryans’ coaching and play-calling has taken the NFL by storm this season — culminating in the 49ers fielding the league’s best defense in 2022.
So far in the postseason, Ryans’ unit has forced four combined takeaways including three interceptions (two by Deommodore Lenoir) and has allowed a combined 35 points in both playoff wins. But how masterful did Ryans’ defense look against the Dallas Cowboys? Renowned film guru Brian Baldinger of The NFL Network on Tuesday broke down a Ryans-led defense, which included pointing out two plays “that are hard to execute” that came from the NFC Divisional round win.
“Anybody can draw the plays up, but can you execute them?” the former NFL offensive lineman asked. He then showed a red zone defensive sequence that saw Ryans’ play call execute three different double teams — a rarity for any NFL defense. Tight end Dalton Schultz, wide receiver Michael Gallup and T.Y Hilton are the ones clamped on the play. Dak Prescott checked down to Ezekiel Elliott but the 49ers’ four-man rush does the rest: Forced Prescott to make a panic throw after seeing the pressure…and that throw bounced off of Elliott.
“Baldy” then pointed out the blitz sequence from safety Tashaun Gipson that came when Fred Warner became the deep coverage man for CeeDee Lamb. Warner ended up delivering the pass breakup on what could’ve been a 30-yard completion to the 49ers’ 10-yard line.
“This defense…they show you things and they take things away,” Baldinger said. “And they’ve got it planned with great players. To use an analogy, they’re like a giant python. Just choking you and taking the air right out of you.”