“Nothing without him”: All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner has a ten-word message to DeMeco Ryans…

Fred Warner: “I’m not the person you see up here today without him.”
In 2018, Fred Warner, a linebacker, was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers as the 70th overall pick in the third round. Around the same time, DeMeco Ryans transitioned from a defensive quality control coach to the inside linebackers coach for the team.

Over time, Ryans rose to become the defensive coordinator for the 49ers in 2021, eventually landing the head coaching position with the Houston Texans last offseason. Under Ryans’ guidance, Warner flourished, earning the prestigious title of first-team All-Pro twice within his initial five seasons in the league.

Expressing deep gratitude, Warner emphasized Ryans’ pivotal role in his growth as both a player and a person. He acknowledged Ryans as the cornerstone of his development, underscoring his indebtedness to the coach.

Ryans, in turn, highlighted Warner as a prime example of nurturing young talent, citing his foresight in recognizing Warner’s potential as a leader and a passionate football player. Despite initial doubts about Warner’s suitability for the middle linebacker position, Ryans invested his time and energy into molding him into one of the NFL’s elite linebackers. He took pride in Warner’s transformation into a standout player and admired his off-field demeanor, commending his commitment to personal integrity.

Transitioning to his role as head coach of the Texans, Ryans instilled a culture of discipline and hard work, reflected in the team’s success during the season, culminating in a division title and a playoff victory. Warner expressed little surprise at the Texans’ achievements, attributing their triumphs to Ryans’ commitment to fostering a winning ethos.

Warner’s stellar performance continued, earning him yet another first-team All-Pro recognition and solidifying his reputation as one of the league’s premier middle linebackers. Through Warner’s accolades and the Texans’ success, Ryans’ influence on Warner’s career trajectory remains a poignant testament to the transformative power of mentorship and dedication.

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