Houston Texans hire DeMeco Ryans as new head coach

September 18, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans hire DeMeco Ryans as new head coach

The Houston Texans name their former All-Pro player the sixth head coach in team history.

The Houston Texans have found the man to lead the team forward. DeMeco Ryans and the team have agreed on a deal to make the former Texans Defensive Rookie of the Year and All-Pro linebacker their new head coach, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Ryans gets a six-year contract, terms have not yet been disclosed.

Late last week, it was reported that Ryans had withdrawn his name from consideration for the Denver Broncos position, making it all but a foregone conclusion that Ryans and the Texans were ultimately headed for a marriage.

San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Fred Warner stated after the team’s loss Sunday in Philadelphia that it had finally struck him that this would be the last time he would be playing under Ryans as his defensive coordinator:

Warner’s statement underscored the fact that the 49ers players knew that Ryans would be leaving, a move players supported as Ryans progresses in his coaching career.

Ryans, 38, was once the 33rd overall pick by the Houston Texans in the 2006 NFL Draft. Ryans would go on to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, become a two-time Pro Bowler, and first-team All-Pro in Houston.

Ryans began his coaching career in 2017 with San Francisco as a defensive quality control coach. He was promoted the following season to inside linebackers coach. Ryans was named defensive coordinator in January 2021 after the departure of former DC Robert Saleh to become the head coach of the New York Jets.

The Niners’ defense was the No. 1 scoring defense and the No. 1 defense in the NFL in total yards allowed in 2022. While Ryans has been a fast riser, he has also been someone who has commanded and earned respect at every stop along the way.

Former Texans defensive coordinator and current head coach of the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks, Wade Phillips, had this to say about DeMeco Ryans’ prospects of being a head coach.

“First of all, I think he’d be a good head coach. Just knowing him, he’s the right kind of person. He’s what I call a good person. He’s a guy you can count on, trustworthy. He’s very smart and was well-liked by the other players. He was captain of the team when I was with the Texans, and we won the division and a playoff game for the first time in the history of the Texans when he was there.”

Phillips also noted that the season before he arrived, the Texans were 31st in defense, and that 2011 season, they ranked second. He credited Ryans for being a big part of that turnaround.

Ryans also had the endorsement of former teammate and future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt:

Watt gave a further endorsement with this photo of him and Ryans from their playing days together in Houston:

After back-to-back seasons of uninspiring head coach hirings, it appears the Texans have nailed this one.

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