Riddick putting 49ers DC Ryans on head-coach watch list

DeMeco Ryans

The 49ers have a new defensive coordinator this season, and one prominent NFL analyst believes they might be in the same situation in 2022.

DeMeco Ryans nearly is all the way through his first preseason as an NFL defensive coordinator, having taken over for Robert Saleh, now the head coach of the New York Jets. Ryan's defense put together a dominant first half in San Francisco's third exhibition game on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders, and ESPN's Louis Riddick came away very impressed, suggesting Ryans should be on the shortlist of head-coaching candidates for next season.

Now, granted, it was a preseason game, and the Raiders sat most of their starters, so maybe you think Riddick is getting ahead of himself. But to Riddick's credit, this isn't the first time he has made such an assertion. He said the same thing about former Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley last year. Staley, of course, is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Ryans was a standout linebacker throughout his 10-year NFL playing career. According to Riddick, there weren't many players, regardless of position, who were smarter than the 49ers' first-time coordinator.

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Ironically, NFL Media's Peter Schrager cited Ryans' inexperience as the main reason why he doesn't view the 49ers as a surefire Super Bowl contender. It's safe to say Riddick doesn't have the same concern.


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