The 49ers reportedly won't wait long to replace Robert Saleh as defensive coordinator.
Inside linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans is expected to fill Saleh's former position, NFL Media's Ian Rapaport reported Thursday night. Saleh has agreed to become the New York Jets' next head coach.
Ryans, 36, has been on the 49ers' staff since 2017. He joined the organization as a defensive quality control coach, earning a promotion to inside linebackers coach in 2018. Under his tutelage, Fred Warner has emerged as one of the NFL's best linebackers, earning All-Pro honors this season.
Last week, coach Kyle Shanahan gave a strong endorsement of Ryans' potential to replace Saleh.
“It’s only a matter of time before DeMeco is a coordinator in this league,” Shanahan said. “It’s a matter of time before DeMeco will be a head coach.”
Ryans has big shoes to fill helming the 49ers' defense. In four years under Saleh, the 49ers allowed the third-fewest yards from scrimmage.
Still, Saleh's reported replacement will get a big boost on defense next season. Nick Bosa, the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year, is expected to be ready for the start of the 2021 campaigning after sustaining a torn ACL and missing all but two games in 2020.