For the second time in his coaching career, DeMeco Ryans will have a front-row seat to watch Jalen Hurts, as the San Francisco 49ers will square off with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game on Sunday.

The second-year 49ers defensive coordinator last coached his defense against Hurts in the 2021 regular season. The 49ers held Hurts to a mere 190 passing yards in their 17-11 win over Philadelphia in Week 2.

Fast-forward a season later, and Hurts has emerged as one of the most versatile quarterbacks in the NFL today. The third-year passer’s standout play in the regular season was good enough to earn him at least a top-five finish for the 2022 NFL MVP award.

Ryans has spent plenty of time this week watching film on Hurts, and he sees that compared to the quarterback’s last meeting against San Francisco, the dual-threat talent is now much more “comfortable” in Philadelphia’s offense.

“Jalen is looking a lot more comfortable within the offense, and scheme-wise, it seems like they’ve put in more concepts that he’s more comfortable with, and he has a really great command of the offense,” Ryans said during a press conference ahead of the NFC title game. “He’s decisive with where he’s going with the ball, and they surround him with a lot of playmakers, adding A.J. Brown. Has a lot of playmakers around him, [DeVonta] Smith, Brown, the backs, tight ends, they have a really good core of guys, he distributes the ball really well.

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“And those guys are really good after they catch the ball of making a guy miss and creating space and getting more yards after the catch, so they’ve done a really good job of just tailoring the offense around Jalen and that’s what makes him look more comfortable.”

Ryans will be counting on his defensive line to help slow down the Eagles star on Sunday.

“It starts with our D-line being where they’re supposed to be and guys who are responsible to go get the quarterback,” Ryans said. “We just have to do our job.”

Hurts has so far recorded 3,855 passing yards and 794 rushing yards over 16 games played this season, including the playoffs.