Warner has 'emotional' Ryans realization after 49ers' loss


Chances are, 49ers defensive coordinator and highly coveted head-coach candidate DeMeco Ryans won't be with the team for the 2023 NFL season.

And after San Francisco lost the NFC Championship Game to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, that fact hit linebacker Fred Warner like a ton of bricks. 

"I hadn't thought about it up until this point because, obviously, you think you're going to win it all," Warner told reporters after his team's 31-7 loss. "But seeing [Ryans] was emotional, it was. It was the first time it kind of hit me, right, that this was the last one with him, and we came into this thing together.

"I owe everything to him. He's the reason I'm the player I am today. He's fully deserving to go on and be a head coach. It hit hard today, for sure."

Ryans and Warner share a close relationship -- the All-Pro's rookie year in 2018 was Ryans' first as the 49ers' inside linebacker coach. Warner has credited Ryans with helping him find his voice in San Francisco's huddle all those years ago, and the respect and admiration the pair share for each other is more than evident.

The coordinator coached the 49ers' defense to become the NFL's best this season, holding opponents to the fewest yards per game among all teams during the regular season.

With the Houston Texans reportedly eyeing Ryans as their next coach, however, those days could be coming to an end now that San Francisco's season is finished.

RELATED: Warner credits Purdy as 'reason' 49ers went to NFC title game

But football is family. Ryans, Warner and the rest of the 49ers certainly know it's not goodbye, but see you later if their coordinator gets a new opportunity elsewhere.

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