Dec 24, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans reacts during the third quarter against the Washington Commanders at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans emerges as clear favorite to be Texans’ next Head Coach

ESPN insider Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans has emerged as the most likely next head coach of the Houston Texans.

Ryans played linebacker for the Houston Texans from 2006-2011, a period during which he earned both Defensive Rookie of the Year and second-team All-Pro distinctions. After moving on to Philadelphia to play for the Eagles in 2012, Ryans eventually retired in 2016. He has been on San Francisco’s defensive staff since 2017 and was promoted to defensive coordinator on Jan. 18, 2021, after Robert Saleh departed to accept the New York Jets head coaching position.

In 2022, the 49ers’ defense allowed the fewest points per game in the NFL and finished ranked in the top six in both rushing yards and passing yards allowed per game. San Francisco has rattled off 12 consecutive wins entering Sunday afternoon’s NFC Championship, in large part thanks to Ryans’ elite defensive unit.

After two straight years of hiring new head coaches for just one season each (David Culley and Lovie Smith), the Houston Texans know that the choice they make this offseason – along with the choices they make with two high-value picks in April’s NFL Draft – will go a long way toward earning back the trust of their fanbase.

Schefter also reports that Houston still “thinks highly” of Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, who the Texans first interviewed on Jan. 14.

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