By Nick Shook
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As the Niners continue to work feverishly to catch up with the rest of the league on offseason activities, Kyle Shanahan’s coaching staff is taking shape.
San Francisco announced the addition of seven new assistants to the staff: John Benton (offensive line), Daniel Bullocks (assistant defensive backs), Michael Clay (strength and conditioning assistant), Stan Kwan (assistant special teams), Vince Oghobaase (assistant defensive line), Adam Stenavich (assistant offensive line) and DeMeco Ryans (defensive quality control).
The standout from that list is Ryans, who played 10 seasons in the NFL as a linebacker with the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles before spending 2016 out of football. Ryans’ career included a hot start in Houston from 2006-2009, a stretch during which he was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year (2006), first-team All-Pro (2007) and twice named to the Pro Bowl (2007, 2009).
From there, Ryans went to Philadelphia, where he was effective in his first two seasons as an Eagle but saw his production drop off in 2014 and 2015, with much of the blame due to age and injuries. Ryans was cut in February of 2016 after a switch to the 4-3 left one less inside linebacker position available.
Ryans finished with 735 solo tackles, 13.5 sacks, 44 passes defense, seven interceptions and seven forced fumbles. Ryans’ addition to Shanahan’s staff is the former linebacker’s first foray into coaching. He’ll coach under defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who was snagged by Shanahan away from Los Angeles, where Saleh was headed to serve as linebackers coach under new Chargers DC Gus Bradley.
Another interesting name on the list is strength and conditioning coach Michael Clay, who was a holdover from previous head coach Chip Kelly’s staff. Clay spent 2015 as the Niners’ assistant special teams coach and moves into his new role under Shanahan, while Kwan fills Clay’s previous position.
Clay played under Kelly at the University of Oregon from 2009-2012, signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and joined the Eagles as a defensive quality control coach in 2014 before moving to special teams assistant in 2015.