DeMeco Ryans
refer to caption
Ryans with the Houston Texans in 2010
San Francisco 49ers
Position:Defensive coordinator
Personal information
Born: (1984-07-28) July 28, 1984 (age 38)
Bessemer, Alabama
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:247 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Jess Lanier (Bessemer)
College:Alabama (2002–2005)
NFL Draft:2006 / Round: 2 / Pick: 33
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:971
Sacks:13.5
Forced fumbles:7
Fumble recoveries:10
Interceptions:7
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

DeMeco Ryans (/dɪˈmk/; born July 28, 1984) is an American football coach and former linebacker who is the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). Ryans played college football at the University of Alabama, where he was named a unanimous All-American.

He was selected by the Houston Texans in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft where he was recognized as the Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was selected to two Pro Bowls before being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012, where he spent four seasons before retiring. He joined the 49ers as a coaching assistant in 2017 and coached their linebackers for a few years before being named their defensive coordinator in 2021.

Early years

Ryans was born in Bessemer, Alabama. He attended Jess Lanier High School in Bessemer, where he played high school football. In his senior season, he had 135 tackles, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions. Considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Ryans was listed as the No. 39 inside linebacker prospect in the nation from the class of 2002.[1] He picked Alabama over Mississippi State.

Playing career

College

Ryans attended the University of Alabama, where he played outside linebacker for coach Mike Shula's Alabama Crimson Tide football team from 2002 to 2005. Ryans started his career by earning a role on special teams and back up linebacker in his first season. By making great improvements every year in his college career, Ryans went on to become the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year for his performance in 2005. Later on, Ryans attributed much of his college success to his defensive coordinator at Alabama, Joe Kines. He was named the 2006 Cotton Bowl Classic defensive MVP in their 13–10 win over Texas Tech. Following his 2005 senior season, he received the Lott Trophy for his combination of athletic excellence and off-the-field achievements, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.

Awards and honors

National Football League

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 1+14 in
(1.86 m)
236 lb
(107 kg)
31+38 in
(0.80 m)
8+58 in
(0.22 m)
4.69 s 1.67 s 2.73 s 4.18 s 7.19 s 39 in
(0.99 m)
10 ft 9 in
(3.28 m)
23 reps
All values from NFL Combine[2][3][4]

Houston Texans

Ryans was selected with the first pick of the 2nd round (33rd overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Texans. He was the highest selected Alabama linebacker since Dwayne Rudd was drafted 20th overall by the Minnesota Vikings in 1997. Though he had been an outside linebacker in college, he earned the starting middle linebacker position due to his excellent performance in the preseason. In his first game, he recorded a league-high 12 solo tackles. Ryans had an overwhelming impact as a rookie linebacker for the Texans, leading the team in tackles in the first half of the 2006 season.

Ryans was named the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after finishing second in the league with 155 total tackles (Zach Thomas 165), 31 more tackles than the next rookie (Detroit Lions linebacker Ernie Sims). Ryans was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2007. On March 30, 2010, Ryans signed a six-year extension worth $48 million, including $21.75 million guaranteed.

Philadelphia Eagles

On March 20, 2012, after Brian Cushing replaced Ryans as starting middle linebacker, Ryans was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2012 fourth-round draft pick (used on Ben Jones) and a swap of third-round picks between the two teams (used on Brandon Brooks and Nick Foles) Ryans was immediately inserted as the team's starting Middle Linebacker.[5] Although the Eagles were 4-12, Ryans still made plays, leading the team in tackles with 113 while adding a sack and interception.

In 2013, Ryans improved even further, leading the team in tackles once more with 127, while also recording career highs in sacks (4.0), interceptions (2), and interception return yardage (46). On January 4, 2014, he had 10 tackles and his first career playoff interception in his first career playoff game with the Eagles, a close 26–24 loss to the New Orleans Saints. On November 3, 2014, Ryans was placed on injured reserve after tearing his Achilles tendon. Ryans was released on February 24, 2016.[6]

NFL career statistics

Season Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Total Solo Ast Sack Safety Pass Def. Int Yards Avg Long TD FF FR Yards TD
2006^ HOU 16 156 126 30 3.5 0 5 1 16 16 16 0 1 1 0 0
2007†‡ 16 128 99 29 2 0 7 1 1 1 1 0 1 3 26 1
2008 16 112 86 26 1 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 47 0
2009 16 123 93 30 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 29 0
2010 6 54 32 22 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2011 16 64 44 20 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
2012 PHI 16 113 86 27 1 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 16 127 102 25 4 0 7 2 46 23 36 0 0 0 0 0
2014 8 45 36 9 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2015 14 49 32 17 0 0 5 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
Career Total 939 732 234 13.5 0 41 7 63 10.5 36 0 7 10 102 1
^ Named Rookie of the Year.
† Named to the Pro Bowl.
‡ Named to the All-Pro team.

Coaching career

San Francisco 49ers

On February 28, 2017, Ryans was hired by the San Francisco 49ers as a defensive quality control coach.[7] In 2018, Ryans was promoted to inside linebackers coach. On January 18, 2021, Ryans was promoted to defensive coordinator following the departure of Robert Saleh, who left to become the head coach of the New York Jets.[8][9]

Following a successful postseason for the 49ers defense, Ryans was interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at the Minnesota Vikings, but declined a second interview and opted to remain with the 49ers.[10]

Personal life

Ryans is a Christian.[11] Ryans and his wife, Jamila, have three children: two sons named MJ and Micah and one daughter named Xia.[12]

References

  1. ^ "Inside linebackers", Rivals100, February 5, 2002
  2. ^ "DeMeco Ryans, Alabama, 2006 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  3. ^ "DeMeco Ryans, Combine Results, OLB - Alabama". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  4. ^ "DeMeco Ryans 2006 NFL Draft Profile". insider.espn.com. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  5. ^ Les Bowen (May 24, 2012). "Linebacker DeMeco Ryans mans the middle for the Eagles". philly.com. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  6. ^ Patra, Kevin (February 24, 2016). "Philadelphia Eagles cut veteran LB DeMeco Ryans". NFL.com. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  7. ^ "John Lynch makes first public comments following Foster's latest arrest". KNBR-AM. February 28, 2018. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  8. ^ 49ers, San Francisco (January 18, 2021). "49ers Announce Coaching Promotions". www.49ers.com. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  9. ^ Martin, Keiana (January 18, 2021). "5 Things to Know About 49ers New Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans". www.49ers.com. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  10. ^ Chan, Jennifer Lee (February 2, 2022). "Shanahan proud of Ryans for declining second Vikings interview". NBC Sports Bay Area. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  11. ^ Claybourn, Cole. "Guided by faith in Jesus, DeMeco Ryans has stout 49ers defense primed for playoff run". Sports Spectrum. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  12. ^ "DeMeco Ryans". Retrieved January 15, 2022.