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Panthers request permission to interview DeMeco Ryans

The former NFL linebacker has been defensive coordinator for the 49ers for two seasons.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers have requested permission to interview San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, a league source tells WCNC Charlotte.

Ryans is in his second year with San Francisco and represents the only current candidate aside from interim coach Steve Wilks with a defensive background.

Carolina also requested permission to interview Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, but New England announced Thursday evening that they were working on an extension to keep Mayo.

Ryans, who turns 39 in July, guided the 49ers defense to a No. 1 finish in yards allowed and points allowed in the NFL in 2022.

In his first season as coordinator, San Francisco finished third and ninth in both categories, respectively.

Ryans played 10 seasons as an NFL linebacker, six with the Texans, and the last four with the Eagles.

Houston drafted Ryans in the second round out of Alabama in 2006, and he went on to earn Defensive Rookie of the Year that season.

Ryans earned two Pro Bowl nods in his career and was voted second-team All-Pro in 2007.

He finished his playing career with 970 combined tackles, 13.5 sacks, 10 fumble recoveries, seven forced fumbles seven interceptions. 

Ryans began his coaching career with San Francisco in 2017, started as a Defensive Quality Control assistant, before spending three seasons as the inside linebackers coach and being named coordinator in 2021.

The Carolina Panthers currently have nine candidates they have either interviewed, or requested permission to interview.

  • Steve Wilks, Panthers Interim HC
  • Frank Reich, former Colts HC
  • Jim Caldwell, former Colts/Lions HC
  • Shane Steichen, Eagles OC
  • Ben Johnson, Lions OC
  • Ken Dorsey, Bills OC
  • Mike Kafka, Giants OC
  • Kellen Moore, Cowboys OC
  • DeMeco Ryans, 49ers DC

Candidates like Ryans who are currently employed by teams, cannot interview in person until the conclusion of the NFL's Wild Card playoff round.

The team must also interview at least two external, minority candidates to satisfy the league's Rooney Rule.

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