DeMeco Ryans is in a prime position as the 49ers defensive coordinator.
The talent that he has at his disposal with Fred Warner, Nick Bosa, Jimmie Ward and MANY more is a phenomenal setup for a first-time coordinator.
But the talent is not the only thing that makes Ryans’ debut as a defensive coordinator a smooth transition. The position coaches that are on defense for the 49ers makes his job much easier with how they get their players sustaining a high-level of performance and aiding their development. The most important position coach on defense, and possibly the team, is defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, whom Ryans is “very happy” is on the 49ers staff.
“His consistent energy day in and day out,” said Ryans. “And it's not just an energy with him, it's also just the detail that he has in his teaching approach and the love that he has for his guys. He is all D-Line all the time and making sure those guys are getting everything. Everything they need, he brings it every day. That's one thing I love about him, it's never an up or down day. It’s consistent energy day in, day out.
"And then you add in [assistant defensive line coach] Daryll Tapp, he's another ball of energy. He brings it. He is similar to coach Kocurek. They both are very high energetic guys and they get their guys to play hard each and every down. And that's all you can ask for defensive line coach. He has done a fantastic job and I'm very happy to have him on my staff. He’s just a great asset, a great mind, a great teacher.”
Kocurek has been a coach who has been praised every year, but it didn’t start to become echoed until late in the 2019 season. His work with that group clearly made his name more recognizable, but Kocurek has always been a sweet coach going back as far as his tenure with the Lions. Best part of all is that former players of his like to reunite with him. Kerry Hyder Jr. did so last season.
It never fails that when you see defensive line drills from a 49ers practice that Kocurek is SCREAMING. The guy just wants his players to fire off aggressively and keep the energy consistent going into gameday. He knows that players “turning it on” so suddenly is not a winning formula. It’s why the depth of the defensive line has always looked solid for the 49ers. It’s a tremendous credit to Kocurek.
For Ryans to give him such high praise is wise for him. Kocurek is his best position group for potentially the best group on the defense. Ryans’ words is a great move for him as a leader on the defense.
Any growing pains Ryans will have this season will likely be reduced thanks to how Kocurek gets the defensive lines' engine pushing.