Report: 49ers' Ryans to be ‘picky' choosing head-coaching job

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As the leader of the top-ranked 49ers' defense, it's no surprise defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is one of the hottest names flying around for the five open NFL head-coaching jobs.

The Denver Broncos and Houston Texans reportedly have requested to interview Ryans. Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals all are beginning their searches for a new head coach.

But Ryans won't be grabbing at the first job offered to him just to advance his coaching career: He will wait for the right fit.

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer reported Monday, citing sources, that Ryans "can afford to be picky, and many in the industry expect he will be."

Ryans was a candidate to fill the Minnesota Vikings' head-coaching vacancy last offseason, but he declined to take a second interview. The Vikings opted to hire Kevin O'Connell as their new head coach, and Ryans returned to the 49ers to serve as defensive coordinator for a second season.

"Last year, Ryans pulled out of the Vikings search," Breer wrote. "I don’t think he’d be afraid to do the same with the Broncos or Texans if he didn’t feel things were right with those franchises."

There's never a perfect situation when a head coach is newly hired in the NFL, but Denver and Houston's openings come with significant baggage.

The Texans have fired David Culley and Lovie Smith back-to-back after both only coached for one year. Houston doesn't appear to have a franchise quarterback after Davis Mills failed to live up to expectations this season, and likely won't have its first choice of the incoming quarterback prospects after the Texans fumbled away the No. 1 overall pick by defeating the Indianapolis Colts in dramatic fashion in Week 18.

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The Broncos have proven veteran Russell Wilson at quarterback. But that's the problem: Sending away five draft picks and three players to the Seattle Seahawks for Wilson last March is looking like a lopsided trade.

Wilson threw for just 16 touchdowns in 15 games, finishing 27th among NFL quarterbacks with an 84.4 passer rating, and he still has six seasons left on his expensive contract.

If Ryans receives a job offer from the Broncos or Texans, only he knows if he'd take it. But the 49ers definitely would welcome him back with open arms for a third season as the defensive coordinator in the Bay Area.

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