DeMeco Ryans and Mike McDaniel navigate ‘unfair’ NFL coaching system

DeMeco Ryans and Mike McDaniel are simultaneously going through two of the most significant events for anyone in their line of work.

Ryans, the 49ers defensive coordinator, and McDaniel, the offensive coordinator, spent the week preparing their units to face the Green Bay Packers in an NFC Divisional Round playoff game.

At the same time, the two are candidates for NFL head coaching positions, which requires a high level of preparation and planning in order to be taken seriously for one of the 32 jobs that exist on the planet. .

“It’s kind of unfair to them just in terms of things that guys look forward to all their lives,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “So they would like to be on it for an interview and be totally ready.

“But asking the guys to do this in a Zoom meeting at the end of the week when we’re on a pretty short week and you’re a little sleep deprived and that’s not the #1 thing that you’re concerned about right now. I just think it’s a bit unfair to them.

The 49ers advanced to the playoffs with a win Sunday over the Dallas Cowboys. They return to action with a Saturday night game against the top-ranked Packers.

Ryans is a candidate for the vacancy of the Minnesota Vikings, while the Miami Dolphins are interested in McDaniel.

Their work with the 49ers is the No. 1 priority for both men, however.

“There’s nothing you can do that jeopardizes the job you’re going to do for the 49ers, which these guys have been completely like,” Shanahan said.

The 49ers first spoke to Shanahan at the end of the 2016 regular season about their vacancy following the layoffs of coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke.

Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, who had a first-round playoff bye that season.

“We had three days off as coaches and I was able to spread my interviews over those three days, so nothing bothered me, and then I quit until after the Super Bowl,” Shanahan said. .

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The system makes it difficult for playoff team coaches to multitask when all their attention should be on the job at hand. But teams looking for a head coach want to move quickly, and they expect each candidate to come up with a plan, including a projected coaching roster.

“I wish we kind of waited until February, put it on hold and let everyone deal with it then,” Shanahan said. “I think it might be harder to do than me actually.

“I don’t know how realistic it is, but it’s just a difficult situation that I don’t have the right answers for, but they handled it well. And I know they prepared us for play Saturday.

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