Alabama Football News

Why hasn’t DeMeco Ryans been mentioned more for UA’s defensive staff?

© Stan Szeto - USA TODAY Sports

It has been a nonstop conversation on whom should be hired at defensive coordinator and defensive line coach for the University of Alabama. While most are upset with Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide not giving more of an effort to hire Dave Aranda, Bob Shoop or Jimmy Lake, the tipping point has become the thought of having Pete Golding run the unit next season. 

Tide fans are not enjoying that idea at all. 

Rumors have floated about a possible return to Alabama for Freddie Roach; however, nothing has been said about his former teammate, DeMeco Ryans.

The player who led the Tide in total tackles (76), tackles for loss (11.5) and sacks (five) in 2005, for a team that finished 10-2 that season — before sanctions came in — has yet to be considered for a spot on Saban’s staff. 

Ryans, a native of Bessemer, Ala., was a unanimous All-American, first-team All-SEC selection and Defensive Player of the Year for the Southeastern Conference in 2005. He was also a finalist for both Dick Butkus (nation’s top linebacker) and Bronko Nagurski awards that season. 

RELATED: Executive director of Senior Bowl said DE Isaiah Buggs “stood out all week”

During his 10 years in the National Football League, Ryans played for the Houston Texans (2006-11) and Philadelphia Eagles (2012-15).

He recorded 939 career tackles – including six seasons where he had at least 100 stops. Ryans posted 13.5 sacks, 41 pass breakups, seven interceptions, six forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries.

He was a two-time NFL Pro Bowl selection (2007, 2009) and first-team All-Pro honoree in 2007 at linebacker for the Texans. 

He served at linebackers’ coach for the San Francisco 49ers in the last two years; however, Malcolm Smith (former star at USC) is the lone big name he coaches on that unit. 

For a franchise that finished 4-12 in 2018, the 49ers no longer have Patrick Willis, Navorro Bowman, Aldon Smith and Chris Borland. After having a second domestic violence issue hit Reuben Foster, a first-round pick to San Francisco in 2017, he was released by the team.  

Ryans understands the expectation of fans at Alabama and knows how to be a champion. 

If not for an unfortunate injury to Tyrone Prothro, he would have led the Tide to a national championship in 2005. With Saban calling so many familiar names – including Vinnie Sunseri, Sal Sunseri, Glenn Coffee, Rashad Johnson, Javier Arenas and Nick Perry — back home, the question is why hasn’t Ryans received a call? Freddie Roach was reached out to for an interview and whether he gets the defensive line position or not, at least the Alabama native was called. 

A lot of talented players are in the 2019 class, and when one couples that with the returning experience, it pays to have a coach who has been there and done that.

Ryans fits the role. 

At the very least, he should be brought in for an interview.  

Alabama needs to consider Ryans having a chance, because he could be the piece to ignite the coaching staff and propel Saban for another run of championships. He played for the Tide, he had success as a pro, and he is young enough (34) to relate to the modern-day student-athlete.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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