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DeMeco Ryans wins the NFL’s Assistant Coach of the Year award

A well-deserved award for the best defensive coordinator in football

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The NFL Honors awards are underway Thursday night, and former 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans won the Assistant Coach of the Year award. Ryans beat out Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson.

There’s no debating the other two coordinators had excellent seasons, but Ryans had the number one defense in the NFL and San Francisco ranked in the top five in every meaningful category.

It was a pleasure watching the 49ers dominate under Ryans. But he’s far more than a terrific play-caller. Whenever players would speak about DeMeco, their sentences would often involve the phrase “best.”

The 49ers didn’t miss a beat, despite losing Arik Armstead for a large chunk of the season and starting cornerback Emmanuel Moseley after Week 5.

Fred Warner said he owes Ryans everything. Nick Bosa said Ryans is the best coach he’s ever had. The list goes on and on.

The Houston Texans are getting a leader, a great human, and someone who’s destined for success. It’ll be fun to keep tabs on DeMeco during his head coaching tenure. For my money, he’s the best assistant Shanahan has had, and that’s saying something because Robert Saleh and Mike McDaniel were top-notch.