DeMeco Ryans “Fired up” for Dre Greenlaw’s 2021 Season

49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans spoke highly of third-year linebacker Dre Greenlaw.
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49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans made quite an impression Wednesday.

It was the first time he had spoken to the media since being named Robert Saleh’s successor. 

Ryans said a ton of interesting comments to take away from his presser, but there was one in particular that was an eye-catcher. When asked about a potential breakout player on the defense, Ryans listed Kevin’s Givens, Javon Kinlaw, and one player nicknamed “Big Play.”

“When you look at another young player, I still see a young player talk about [LB] Dre Greenlaw and just how he's developed,” said Ryans. “And he's gotten better throughout these OTAs and I'm fired up to see his growth this year.”

Greenlaw is entering Year 3 of his young NFL career. When he debuted in 2019 as a rookie, he entered the field as strongly and ferociously as Thor does in “The Avengers.” From his stellar first start on Monday Night Football against the Seahawks, to his division clinching goal line stand in Seattle. 

While 2020 did not bring similar excitement to his development, Year 3 gives way for new hope. Greenlaw is still raw and has a ways to go to become great. Luckily for him, he has the right coaches to elevate his game as well as the right teammate in Fred Warner to get him there. 

Together with Warner, the two make the case as one of the top linebacker duos in the league. Warner is essentially already at the pinnacle of his talent now that he’s All Pro status. 

If Greenlaw can find his way towards Pro Bowl caliber, the 49ers will have found their new “Patrick Willis/NaVorro Bowman” tandem to gush over.