DeMeco Ryans

Ryans was distraught over 49ers' Super Bowl loss, Greenlaw injury

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INDIANAPOLIS — DeMeco Ryans might not be part of the 49ers organization any longer, but the Houston Texans head coach still felt the pain of his former team's Super Bowl LVIII loss.

The former 49ers defensive coordinator spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine and detailed his emotions watching the heart-breaking outcome.

“I literally fell on the floor when [The Kansas City Chiefs] scored that touchdown at the end of the game,” Ryans said. “I was in it. I felt, of course, like I was still there, a part of it.”

Ryans started his coaching career with the 49ers in 2017 as a defensive quality control coach and remained with the club as their linebackers coach from 2018-2020. In 2021 he was named defensive coordinator, a position held until he was hired as the Texans head coach in 2023. 

Ryans always has been thankful for his time spent with Kyle Shanahan, noting how much the 49ers head coach prepared him to become an NFL head coach.

“I wanted so badly to see Kyle and those guys come away with a Super Bowl win, because I know the work that Kyle puts in and he deserves it,” Ryans said. “It was unfortunate to see them come up short and it really hurt me like I was there and still a part of it.”

Ryans and his wife welcomed a baby girl to their family on the Saturday prior to the Super Bowl, but he still was able to watch the game with his older children at home the next day. Because the Ryans family was tuned in to the Nickelodeon broadcast, the former linebacker did not see the injury that Dre Greenlaw suffered in real-time.

Greenlaw's Achilles injury was a gut punch for his former coach. Still, Ryans believed that the 49ers had a chance to win the game, never giving up hope until it was over. 

“I was sitting on the couch watching it and it was a heartbreaker,” Ryans said. “I literally fell on the floor and I was distraught. I felt like they played such a great game against the top quarterback in the league. And for them to do what they did, it was just unfortunate to see them lose that way.” 

With a young and upcoming Texans team, led by NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, C.J. Stroud, Ryans conceivably could meet his former team in a Super Bowl in the not-so-distant future.

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