There aren't many bright spots to point out with the San Francisco 49ers.
With a losing record at 2-3 going into their Week 6 Bye, a lot of negatives overshadow most of the positives.
However, there is one place to cite that has been a major positive for the 49ers this season. That is the successful passing of the guard with DeMeco Ryans as defensive coordinator.
Ryans is the 49ers brightest spot so far.
What looked like it could be a long season for the defense after the Packers game, turns out to be just a part of the growing pains and an elite opponent. Ryans has done a great job through five games keeping the drop off from Robert Saleh at a sizeable level.
“I think DeMeco is doing a hell of a job," said Kyle Shanahan. "We've started out with a scheme here that started out with the playbook very similar to Seattle's and it's evolved each year. It's evolved with players. It's evolved with coaches. It’s evolved with injuries. But I think DeMeco has done a hell of a job each week. Each week has been a different challenge. He's got our players ready to play and I thought they did a hell of a job (Sunday), especially giving us a chance to win that game.”
Ryans through five games has been the clear-cut best coach/coordinator for the 49ers. He is a rookie coordinator and is outclassing a "genius" such as Shanahan. Who could have saw that coming?
The defense of the 49ers is ranked No. 7 in total yards a game allowed and No. 16 in points per game allowed. The yards stat is pretty impressive and can add some context as to why the 49ers are middle of the pack in points allowed. The offense isn't giving them much help to sustain long drives, which limits possessions for the opposition. Turnovers on offense and from special teams also has added extra weight to the defense's shoulders.
Even with a questionable cornerback position, the 49ers are fairly stout on defense. They get adequate pressure and can cover overall at a serviceable level. If the offense can do them a favor by controlling more of the ball and scoring points, it would be of great help to the defense. This will make Ryans start to look better as he will have less of a hand to show to opposition.
Ryans still has a long season to go, so I am sure there will be games where he has immense challenges. But so far he has faced a great deal of challenges and has handled them fairly well. Growing pains are to be expected, but there is definitely a ton of encouragement and excitement to see what else is in store for him.