Fred Warner #54, Kwon Alexander #56 and Inside Linebackers Coach DeMeco Ryans of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
The SF 49ers will look different from a coaching perspective in 2021 with the departure of now-NY Jets head coach Robert Saleh creating holes at defensive coordinator and in the offensive coaching room.
Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan opted to promote from within to keep some talented members of his coach staff in the building, moving Mike McDaniel, formerly the run-game coordinator, to offensive coordinator and DeMeco Ryans, formerly the linebackers coach, to defensive coordinator.
Both McDaniel and Ryans will be first-time coordinators, and while McDaniel’s role as a play-caller is uncertain with Shanahan having served as the de facto OC during his years in San Francisco, Ryans will undoubtedly be responsible for not only the defensive scheme but the in-game playcalling.
Although it remains to be seen exactly what Ryans will do as far as the scheme, it feels like the move to promote from within lends itself to continuity, even as the team is facing a massive number of .
With that said, there is a core of key players who will be returning in 2021 who will help to overcome the learning curve Ryans will most certainly face in his new role.
Of those players, these are the three who will help Ryans the most as he transitions from position coach to leader of San Francisco’s defense.