On Jan. 19, 2021, former SF 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was named as the new head coach for the NY Jets. Saleh was a highly coveted option for the multiple head coaching vacancies around the league.
He ultimately chose the Jets who finished 2-14 last season and were 9-23 in former head coach Adam Gase’s tenure. Needless to say, there is a lot of work to be done for Saleh as he tries to turn a new leaf in a franchise that hasn’t had a playoff win since the 2010 season.
There was much work to be done with the SF 49ers as well with their coaching staff. Whenever a coordinator such as Saleh leaves, one who brings so much enthusiasm and energy, there is a big void left. Not to mention he took Niners passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur with him to New York to be his offensive coordinator.
But the SF 49ers had some great assistant coaches in-house they were able to promote. It was almost immediately assumed one of the great assistant coaches on the staff would be promoted to defensive coordinator.
DeMeco Ryans was the team’s inside linebackers coach for the past three seasons and had built up a very explosive unit. He tutored third-year linebacker, Fred Warner, into an All-Pro selection in 2020. Therefore it was well-deserved for Ryans to get the nod to be the new defensive coordinator.
Ryans’ journey to defensive coordinator of the SF 49ers began in the NFL 2006, with some interesting stops along the way.
Let’s take a look at three things fans should know about the new leader of the defense.