NFL Rumors: 49ers’ DeMeco Ryans will be ‘tough’ with Broncos and Texans jobs

As the leader of the top-ranked 49ers defense, it’s no surprise that defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is one of the hottest names for the five open NFL head coaching positions.

The Denver Broncos and Houston Texans reportedly asked to interview Ryans. Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals all begin their search for a new head coach.

But Ryans won’t take the first job offered to him just to advance his coaching career: he’ll be waiting for the right person.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported Monday, citing sources, that Ryans “can afford to be picky, and many in the industry expect him to be.”

Ryans was a candidate to fill the vacant Minnesota Vikings head coaching position last offseason, but declined to take a second interview. The Vikings elected to hire Kevin O’Connell as their new head coach, and Ryans returned to the 49ers to serve as defensive coordinator for a second season.

“Last year Ryans retired from Vikings research,” Breer wrote. “I don’t think he would be afraid to do the same with the Broncos or the Texans if he didn’t feel things were going well with those franchises.”

There’s never a perfect situation when a head coach is newly hired in the NFL, but the openings in Denver and Houston come with significant baggage.

The Texans fired David Culley and Lovie Smith back-to-back after they only coached for a year. Houston doesn’t appear to have a franchise quarterback after Davis Mills fell short of expectations this season, and likely won’t get its first pick among quarterback prospects after the Texans eluded the no. 1 by beating the Indianapolis Colts in spectacular fashion in Week 18.

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The Broncos have proven veteran Russell Wilson to be the quarterback. But therein lies the problem: Returning five draft picks and three players to the Seattle Seahawks for Wilson last March feels like a lopsided trade.

Wilson threw for just 16 touchdowns in 15 games, finishing 27th among NFL quarterbacks with an 84.4 passer rating, and still has six seasons left on his pricey contract.

If Ryans gets a job offer from the Broncos or the Texans, only he knows if he would accept. But the 49ers would certainly welcome him with open arms for a third season as defensive coordinator in the Bay Area.

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