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DeMeco Ryans has emerged as ‘a top candidate’ for the Denver Broncos job

Ryans was compared to a future hall of fame coach

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The Pro Football Writers of America voted 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans as the Assistant Coach of the Year. Pete Carroll was the only other Niners assistant to win the award since 1993, when he was the defensive coordinator in 1995.

Mike Klis of reported that Ryans has emerged as “a top candidate” for the job. Klis wrote, “Broncos’ CEO and owner Greg Penner has spent the last few days regrouping with the other involved owners - Carrie Penner, Rob Walton, and Condoleeza Rice - as well as General Manager George Paton.”

Klis added the Waltons and Penner would sit in on the second interview with DeMeco. Per Klis, Penner, Rice, and Paton came away impressed with Ryans during their in-person interview last Thursday in the San Francisco Bay area. The name Klis referenced as a coach with leadership that didn’t have any head coaching experience at the time after being a coordinator for one year? Mike Tomlin. That is...high praise.

Klis noted that the Texans also covet Ryans while pointing out that DeMeco’s wife, Jamila, is from Houston.

Neither Denver nor Houston are permitted to interview Ryans until early next week since he’s an active assistant coach in the Championship round.