DeMeco Ryans Praises ‘SWARM Player of the Day’ Accolade Amidst Tuesday’s Roster Deadline

Aug 29, 2022, 3:10 PM | Updated: 3:50 pm

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 20: Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans of the San Francisco 49ers talks wi...

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 20: Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans of the San Francisco 49ers talks with the linebackers on the sideline during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 20, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 49ers defeated the Vikings 17-7. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

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

Despite the San Francisco 49ers facing massive cuts to their roster by Tuesday’s deadline, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans focused on a philosophy he preaches at practice during media availability Monday: Getting his unit to perform at the highest level possible.

“Our goal each and every time is just to be better than we were at a time before. You know, it’s just making those strides, we continue to make those strides as we go throughout the season, I think everyone will be excited about where we end up,” Ryans said.

Take for example their “Swarm Player Of The Day” award for practice each day. Ryans explained this award is given to defensive players who show extra effort at practice, produce turnovers, and/or get after the ballcarrier. So far the leaders in the clubhouse are Fred Warner, Nick Bosa, and Kerry Hyder Jr.

“Whoever was attacking the ball, whoever got turnovers or just had made a special effort on certain plays. So a lot of different combinations of things to highlight guys, like to highlight guys playing our style of ball, Ryans said. “Whether that’s effort, whether it’s physicality, whether it’s taking the ball so we like to highlight guys just in all those areas.”

In-house accolades for improvement and effort, are not a bad idea.

The outlier on that list is Hyder Jr. as he remains a fringe player to watch leading up to Tuesday’s deadline. Nevertheless, the 31-year-old defensive end served a vital role for the 49ers in 2020, coming up with 49 combined tackles and 18 quarterback hits during the season.

“I think I was built that way,” Hyder said Monday, acknowledging his previous relationship with defensive line coach Kris Kocurek during his days with the Detroit Lions. “I was with Kris as a young player so it was one of those things where there’s not a day off.”

Moving to the secondary, the team is still reeling from the loss of strong safety Jimmie Ward (hamstring). John Lynch said Ward is heading to the PUP list for the beginning portion of regular season games.

“I don’t think you make up for Jimmie Ward’s loss. He’s a very integral part of our defense, very important piece which allows us to be multiple and do a lot of different things. So that’s a significant loss for our defense,” Ryans said.

Those four games include the Chicago Bears, the Seattle Seahawks, the Denver Broncos, and the Los Angeles Rams. Despite the big loss, Ryans is still optimistic for his unit, praising the front office for putting together an excellent roster that will make for tough decisions and discussions over the next day.

“Kyle [Shanahan] and John [Lynch] have done a really good job of putting a really great group together, a talented group. We just have to be able to go out and play, and [if] everybody plays to the standard which we’re capable of playing to, [I] think we can have a very good defense here,” Ryans stated.

The 49ers made their first cuts over the last 24 hours, waiving C Dohnovan West and CB Ka’dar Hollman, while releasing CB Ken Crawley.

To watch the full press conference with DeMeco Ryans, click here.


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