NFL assistants balance playoff prep and interviews

The NFL tweaked the rules this year, allowing for assistants who were in the wild-card round to do interviews the week of the divisional round in hopes that qualified candidates on teams that make long postseason runs don’t miss out on getting coveted head coaching jobs.

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January 20, 2023 - 2:44 PM

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans cheers a defensive stop in the third quarter against the Washington Commanders at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — DeMeco Ryans’ day as San Francisco defensive coordinator started with meetings and then went to the practice field as he focused on implementing a defense to slow down Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys.

Then instead of relaxing or diving into more film at night ahead of a key playoff showdown Sunday, Ryans shifted gears and went into job interview mode with an in-person meeting with the Denver Broncos about their head coaching job.

“With everything you do as a coach, you’re trying to crunch a lot of things in,” he said at his weekly news conference Thursday in between practice and his interview.

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