Ryans explains why he is ‘ready' to be head coach in NFL


DeMeco Ryans is ready to be an NFL head coach.

In an interview with ESPN, Ryans, the defensive coordinator of the 49ers, believes the time is right for him to pursue one of the many head coaching vacancies around the league. 

"For me, with the head-coaching thing, it's like, 'Are you ready, man?' " Ryans told ESPN. "Yeah, I'm ready to go do it ... It'll be the first time. 

"But I figured out everything else. I'm pretty sure I'll figure that out, too."

Ryans' new mindset comes nearly one year after he turned down a second interview with the Minnesota Vikings, opting to stay with the 49ers to work on his craft and better prepare himself for opportunities that lie ahead.

With Ryans building San Francisco into one of the top second-half defenses in the league, the Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos and Houston Texans have requested permission to interview him for their head coaching openings.

“It's very humbling to be able to get requests for head coaching interviews," Ryans told reporters after practice on Jan. 11. "It's humbling when you think about a lot of guys who've coached before me and a lot of guys put in a lot of years, a guy like [49ers running backs coach] Bobby Turner comes to mind and all of the years he put in, so I think about guys like that and them not being able to get the opportunity and me, truly being able to go represent for them.

"And that's what it means, it means a lot for the other guys that been before me. And it's special to be able to be in a select group, to have head coaching interviews and people requesting, it's a special moment, it's a proud moment and I'm very thankful and grateful just to be spoken of in that light. I'm very humble, very grateful for those opportunities.”

Ryans, one of the hottest head coaching candidates available, told reporters after practice Thursday that his interview with the Broncos would be in-person later in the day.

With a bevy of teams vying for his services, Ryans reportedly will be "picky" regarding which job his chooses, per Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer. 

RELATED: Ryans humbled by interview request for NFL head coach jobs

As Ryans and the 49ers prepare for an NFC Divisional Round matchup with the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at Levi's Stadium, no one can say for certain what will happen as the playoffs roll along.

But one thing is for certain: Whatever happens next, Ryans will be ready for it. 

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