The 49ers on Tuesday officially made John Benton their offensive-line coach and added six other assistants, including former Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans as a defensive quality control coach.
Ryans, 32, spent 10 seasons in the NFL after being drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round in 2006. He was with the Texans when 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was an offensive assistant and when defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was a defensive assistant, including an assistant linebackers coach in 2009-10.
Ryans was named the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year in 2006. New 49ers linebackers coach Johnny Holland, under whom Ryans will work, was the Texans’ linebackers coach that season. Ryans’ last year as a player was 2015 with the Philadelphia Eagles. He started 13 games and finished with 32 tackles, five pass breakups and a forced fumble. This will be his first year as a coach.
Benton, 53, spent last season as an assistant offensive-line coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He worked the previous two seasons as the Miami Dolphins’ offensive-line coach and eight years (2006-13) as the Texans’ offensive-line coach. He also served as the St. Louis Rams’ offensive-line coach in 2004-05.
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In all, seven members of Shanahan’s staff overlapped with Shanahan at some point – as a coach or player – when Shanahan was an assistant in Houston (2006-09): Mike McDaniel (run-game coordinator), Ray Wright (strength coach), Jeff Zgonina (defensive line), Benton, Holland, Ryans and Saleh.
The Texans reunion could grow next month when free agency begins. The 49ers need to add multiple quarterbacks, and free agent Matt Schaub worked with Shanahan with Houston and the Atlanta Falcons.
The 49ers also added Daniel Bullocks, 33, as assistant defensive backs coach; Michael Clay, 25, as an assistant strength and conditioning coach; Stan Kwan, 49, as assistant special-teams coach; Vince Oghobaase, 30, as assistant defensive-line coach; and Adam Stenavich, 33, as assistant offensive-line coach.
Stenavich spent the last two years as the offensive-line coach at San Jose State. Clay, who is from San Jose, was part of Chip Kelly’s staff a year ago in the role of special-teams assistant.