Colts submitted a request to interview 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans for their HC, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 16, 2023
Ryan’s schedule is jammed. He will start his HC interviews Thursday with the Broncos, and is expected to meet with Colts, Texans and Cardinals before Sunday’s playoff game.
The 38 year old Ryans is one of the hottest young candidates on this year’s head coaching market and figures to have his fair share of serious suitors beyond just Indianapolis.
Not only did Ryans have a standout playing career as a former NFL All-Pro linebacker, but he’s also responsible for coaching one of the league’s best defenses this season (as 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan strictly handles the offensive play-calling duties).
Per Football Outsiders, the 49ers ranked #1 in team defense DVOA this season. Ryans’ defense allowed the fewest yards (300.6 avg. yards per game) and the fewest points (16.3 ppg), while the team tied for the second most takeaways (30th).
Having joined the 49ers coaching staff in 2017, Ryans would be familiar with Colts All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner already from his prior playing career in San Francisco.
He’d also inherit a defense that has some core pieces such as Shaquille Leonard, Kenny Moore II, Grover Stewart, Kwity Paye, Dayo Odeyingbo, Isaiah Rodgers, Zaire Franklin, potentially Bobby Okereke, and E.J. Speed (both free agents), as well as veteran Stephon Gilmore.
The Colts tried the former star player hire with interim head coach Jeff Saturday already, but unlike the Colts beloved center, Ryans has prior pro coaching experience and proven to be successful at one of the highest coaching levels, other than head coach.
If team owner Jim Irsay is attempting to find his ‘Mike Vrabel’ again, Ryans seems like a pure player’s coach with already proven success to hang his helmet upon as he receives a well- earned promotion by becoming an NFL head coach, assuredly very soon.