Ryans humbled by interview request for NFL head coach jobs


While DeMeco Ryans is preparing a gameplan to slow down the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card Game on Saturday, the 49ers' defensive coordinator is fielding interview requests from NFL teams looking for a new head coach.

Since the 2022 regular-season ended last weekend, the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans reportedly have requested permission from the 49ers to interview Ryans for their head coaching vacancies.

Ryans is in demand and reportedly can afford to be "picky" about which job, if any, he decides to take.

For the second straight year, Ryans has been mentioned with just about any opening around the league, and on Wednesday, the 38-year-old was asked about what it means to him that so many teams have interest in him.

“It's very humbling to be able to get requests for head coaching interviews," Ryans told reporters after practice. "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.”

Last January, the Minnesota Vikings were in hot pursuit of Ryans, but he ultimately turned down a second interview in order to stay with the 49ers so that he could improve his skills as a coach.

At the time, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters he was proud of Ryans' decision, and a year later, the former NFL linebacker believes he made the right call.

“I still feel strong about the decision I made and I feel like it was the correct decision for me and my family at the time," Ryans said Wednesday.

For any prospective coach, the end of the regular season and beginning of the playoffs is a tough balancing act. For someone like Ryans, he has to focus on helping the 49ers try to win Super Bowl LVII. But at the same time, he has to look out for his future, and teams want to conduct interviews and hire a head coach as soon as possible.

Ryans made it clear Wednesday his focus is on trying to stop Geno Smith, DK Metcalf, Kenneth Walker III and the Seahawks.

“During this time, I'm thankful and happy to be in the playoffs at this time and the interviews and those things, they'll take care of themselves at the right time," Ryans said. "The focus is all about Seattle for me, it's all about what can we do? How can I help our guys be in position to go win this game on Saturday? That's the focus, the interviews, all those things? They'll take care of themselves.”

Despite just two years as a defensive coordinator, Ryans widely is considered one of the brightest up-and-coming coaches in the NFL and it's only a matter of time before he's leading a franchise, following in the footsteps of Mike McDaniel and Robert Saleh as quick success stories from the Shanahan coaching tree.

RELATED: Bosa considers Ryans best defensive coordinator of his NFL career

If everything goes right for Ryans, he'll be celebrating a Super Bowl victory in mid-February while getting ready for his first offseason as an NFL head coach.

But for now, the focus is on the Seahawks and the 49ers' current playoff run.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Contact Us