If Robert Saleh Gets a Head Coaching Job, The 49ers Have a Quick Replacement For Him

DeMeco Ryans hasn't been a football coach for very long.

He became a defensive quality control coach for the San Francisco 49ers back in 2017, but quickly moved to coaching the inside linebackers a year later. It's a role that he's remained ever since, but that could be changing soon.

San Francisco's current defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, is being considered for head coaching roles around the league. If he departs, Ryans might be a potential replacement option.

Several former players from the team, including Donte Whitner, Takeo Spikes and Ian Williams, are actually pushing for it.

“DeMeco Ryans is a leader of men,” Spikes said, via NBC Sports. “As a former player, he has an innate and keen understanding of the locker room, as well as the culture. He's spent quality time under the tutelage of some of the best defensive minds that have come through the game, Wade Phillips and Robert Saleh.

“As a coach, he has developed two young linebackers in Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw. He’s helped morph Warner into a Pro Bowl linebacker and possibly All-Pro. He’s taken Greenlaw, a fifth-round pick, and helped him become one of the better tackling linebackers in the league.”

That's only the words from one of those former players. The other two make pretty compelling cases as well.

Ryans was an All-American linebacker at Alabama back in the mid-2000s, eventually making his way to being a second-round pick by the Houston Texans in 2006. He spent 10 years in the league with the Texans and Philadelphia Eagles before retiring in 2015.

Since then, he's been making the transition to coach. It's worked out pretty well for him so far.

His high football IQ as a player has translated nicely into a coaching role, and that has helped him become a fast riser in the coaching world.

He'll make that next step sooner rather than later.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

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Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.