DeMeco Ryans has been a busy man this postseason.
While the 49ers defensive coordinator has prepped for last week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys and this week’s NFC Championship against the Philadelphia Eagles, Ryans has also been squeezing in head coach interviews with prospective teams.
According to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver, Ryans has emerged as the top candidate for the Denver Broncos head coaching vacancy.
"Other Broncos’ head coach candidates remain in the mix including Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, former New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton and former Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Jim Caldwell, according to a source,” Klis wrote. “But Ryans appears to be a top choice.”
Ryans turned down a chance to be a head coach last offseason, but many figure that the 38-year-old will make the leap in 2023. He has also been linked with the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals about their head-coaching gigs this offseason.
Ryans, who played linebacker in the NFL from 2006-15, is known as a players’ coach. The 49ers finished the regular season as the top-ranked defense in points allowed per game (16.3) and yards allowed per game (300.6).
On Tuesday, NFL Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner Nick Bosa sang Ryans’ praises.
"He’s as good as it gets when it comes to scheme on defense,” Bosa said. “As a leader of men, he’s as good as it gets."
On Wednesday, Ryans was named NFL Assistant Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA). The high-energy coach could be great for the Broncos, who are looking for a new identity after their 2022 season was lost with the Russell Wilson experiment and they finished 5-12 in the AFC West cellar.