49ers vs. Eagles: 3 areas DeMeco Ryans must improve in Week 2

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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DeMeco Ryans, Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, SF 49ers
Linebackers Coach DeMeco Ryans of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

With the 49ers visiting the Eagles in Week 2, Niner Noise looks at how first-year coordinator DeMeco Ryans makes some improvement adjustments to his defense.

If one were to take a net grade on San Francisco 49ers first-year defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans’ first attempts in a regular-season NFL game, it might be easy enough to give him a favorable C-minus.

Ryans’ defense, at times and at least for three quarters, looked mostly smothering against a relatively inept Detroit Lions offense lacking serious firepower. And while there were problems defending against tight end T.J. Hockenson and allowing too many gut runs up the middle to go for big yards, Ryans should feel relatively happy with his efforts.

Aside from the near-collapse late in the fourth quarter, though. That was ugly.

Not terrible, not great. Those might be the adjectives to describe Ryans’ first bout as a coordinator.

And with a Week 2 road contest against the 1-0 Philadelphia Eagles, Ryans will face challenges he’s not quite used to yet, at least not in this role, as quarterback Jalen Hurts‘ mobility provides an obstacle the Niners didn’t exactly have to face in Week 1.

That, and there are other multifaceted weapons potentially threatening San Francisco’s prospects for kicking off 2021 with a perfect 2-0 record.

In what’ll be something of a homecoming for Ryans, the 10-year pro linebacker who spent his last four seasons in Philly, he’ll want to take a measure of what happened in Week 1 and look to improve upon what he’s learned heading into Week 2.

Especially in these three key areas.