5 Head coach candidates Cleveland Browns could consider in 2023

Eagles Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen.. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Eagles Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen.. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
49ers Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Browns head coach candidate No. 3: DeMeco Ryans, 49ers DC

In Week 14, the world got to see just how good DeMeco Ryans is at his job. His San Francisco 49ers defense made Tom Brady look silly all day as they won 35-7 and forced two interceptions.

After the game, Dre Greenlaw even had Brady sign the ball he picked off, which is just savage.

But anyone who has paid attention to the 49ers this season already knew Ryans could do his job. Since taking over the defensive coordinator job in 2021, he’s developed into one of the best defensive play-callers in the game.

In his first year as coordinator, the Niners were third in yards surrendered and ninth in points allowed. This season, they’re first in each category and fifth in turnovers.

Ryans doesn’t have a lot of experience coaching but he’s working under one of the more respected coaches in the NFL in Kyle Shanahan. He joined Shanahan’s staff in 2017 as a defensive quality control coach and worked his way to inside linebackers coach in 2018.

He held that title until moving to his current position and has earned the praise of Shanahan, who says Ryans will be a coach one day.

"“DeMeco is going to be a head coach. He’s too good not to be, whether it’s this year, whether it’s next year, whether it’s anytime” — Shanahan on Ryans via Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports"

If that wasn’t enough, Ryans will also be a coach who can relate to his players. He spent 10 years as a linebacker in the NFL and won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award back in 2006 with the Houston Texans — the same year they took Mario Williams first overall.