SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

DeMeco Ryans Details “Uplifting” Return For Starting Defensive Players

Aug 23, 2022, 7:48 AM | Updated: 10:08 am

SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans of the San Francisco 49ers talks ...

SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans of the San Francisco 49ers talks with the defense on the sidelines during the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi's Stadium on November 15, 2021 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Rams 31-10. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

Uplifting. That’s how 49ers’ defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans described the return of starting defensive tackle Arik Armstead, acknowledging that his presence alone has had a positive impact on the team.

“Yeah, it’s really great. Again, to get Arik back, to get [Emmanuel Moseley] back. Arik’s presence, just being out there inside his presence, he’s a great player in his league. So anytime you can get a really great player back to help our defense, it’s just fun. And to have not only great player, but to have one of the leaders, true leaders of our team, not only the defense, but a true leader of our team. Just to have him back at practice, being active, for me, it’s just uplifting to everyone. I feel the energy from everyone on defensive side just by having E-Man and Arik back today. So definitely excited for both of those guys and where they’re headed,” Ryans said Monday after practice.

Armstead, a Sacramento native, returned to the gridiron last Thursday in Minnesota after suffering an MCL sprain on the first day of training camp. The veteran DL only appeared in individual drills during a joint practice with the Vikings, having his first team practice Monday in Santa Clara.

Moseley, coming off a hamstring injury that sidelined him for a couple of weeks, also returned to practice Monday. The starting cornerback had a great first practice back Monday, as Ryans applauded “E-Man’s” professionalism while rehabbing.

“Yeah, E-man has handled the past few weeks like a true pro. I wouldn’t expect anything less of him. He’s handled it with class,” Ryans stated. “It’s fun to have a guy back out there who just loves to compete each and every day. And it’s just exciting to see him on his first day make plays to help us, so it was fun. And I’m happy to see where E-man is right now.”

Moseley caught fire his return immediately, tipping an interception from Trey Lance to safety Talanoa Hufanga before snagging one of his own shortly after.

As for the rookies, DE Drake Jackson impressed his defensive coordinator Monday, especially on a play where he fell to the ground before popping back up to get pressure on the quarterback. Ryans went in length about the USC product’s potential with the 49ers, saying his “God-given ability” has stood out from day one.

“Drake is a very unique athlete from that standpoint where you see some guys who may hit the ground or get tripped up some type of way and they’re done, they’re out of the play, it’s taking him forever to get up. But Drake is unique in a way that he still finds a way, like even if he’s falling, he’s still working his way to the quarterback and for him to slip on that pressure and still affect the quarterback. Most guys, they don’t have that type of athletic ability. And that’s what I call God-given ability that some guys have and Drake, he has that. It’s not something that you coach or teach. It’s just something he has uniquely within himself to be able to be effective,” Ryans explained.

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