No. 2: DeMeco Ryans helped build an elite SF 49ers linebacker corps
Fans may understandably be most impressed with the Niners defensive line, particularly when players like EDGEs Nick Bosa and Dee Ford are fully healthy and providing a thump in the pass-rushing department.
But one should make the argument San Francisco’s linebacker corps is even more impressive.
And even more important, too. Middle linebackers are often the “quarterbacks” of that side of the ball, and the SF 49ers have one of the best in the NFL right now, Fred Warner.
Warner likely pre-approved DeMeco Ryans’ promotion before it even happened, via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner:
"He’s so passionate about what he does. It’s not a mystery why he was so successful in the NFL. He’s such a smart mind, and him and Saleh are very similar in that way where they’re both really smart and know exactly what they want. The fact that DeMeco did play linebacker, that’s exactly how he’s going to coach. He’s going to coach you hard and aggressive and expect a lot out of you because he was able to do that when he played."
Robert Saleh was a linebackers coach before taking the Niners’ defensive coordinator job in 2017.
It’s a position Ryans held since then. And with young talents at the position like Warner and fellow linebacker Dre Greenlaw, there’s little reason to assume a drop in production takes place.