As expected, there’s been quite a bit of news surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach vacancy this week. Between interim head coach Rich Bisaccia interviewing for the job, speculation that the Raiders are interested in New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and a few news stories about Jim Harbaugh, there’s been no shortage of headlines on the topic and they keep on coming.
49ers’ defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is scheduled to interview with the Vikings on Sunday and the Raiders also are planning to interview him as well, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 22, 2022
Ryans’ D faces the offense of Packers’ OC Nathaniel Hackett, who is up for Vikings, Broncos and Jags’ HC jobs.
Unlike the other names listed above, Ryans doesn’t have an extensive résumé with decades of coaching experience. He was a second-round pick and a first-team All-Pro selection during his 10-year career as a player, but he didn’t break into coaching until 2017 when the 49ers brought him on as a defensive quality control coach.
However, Ryans was quickly promoted to inside linebackers coach the following season and played a significant role in developing a former third-round pick, Fred Warner into a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler. Linebackers Dre Greenlaw and Al-Shaair Azeez among others have also turned into quality players under Ryans’ tutelage.
After Robert Saleh left San Francisco to become the New York Jets head coach this offseason, Ryans was promoted to fill Saleh’s shoes. The 49ers’ defense barely skipped a beat with the new man in charge, ranking third in total yards allowed (5,270) and ninth in points surrendered (365).
So, despite his inexperience as a coach, the 37-year-old has a pretty impressive résumé in his own right, especially when factoring in his success as a player. Now it’s just a matter if that’s enough to sway Mark Davis away from the other, more well-tenured candidates.
If Ryans is the guy, Davis and the Raiders might have to act swiftly. As Schefter noted, Ryans will be meeting with the Minnesota Vikings for their head coach vacancy on Sunday, so he has other potential suitors. Also, slowing down MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers’ high-flying offense in a primetime playoff matchup tonight could peak a few more teams’ interests. We’ll have to wait and find out!
On a related note, the Raiders have put in a request to interview Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds for their vacancy at general manager, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.