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

Top coaching candidate already out on Texans?

One of the first five coordinators the Houston Texans requested interviews with reportedly has no interest in the job.

The Houston Texans wasted little time casting their net to search for the replacement to Lovie Smith as head coach. Monday, they requested interviews with five coordinators expected to be top coaching candidates: Jonathan Gannon and Shane Steichen of the Eagles, Ben Johnson of the Lions, Ejiro Evero of the Broncos, and DeMeco Ryans of the 49ers.

Ryans, of course, has a lot of ties to the Texans organization. Those ties aren’t all good ones, however.

According to reports, despite the Texans’ interest in Ryans, he has no interest in the Texans job.

Ryans is expected to be highly sought after and should be able to be picky about whatever job he ultimately wants. Last season, he turned down a second interview with the Minnesota Vikings and chose instead to stay with the Niners as defensive coordinator. Minnesota ultimately hired Kevin O’Connell.

Ryans was once the 33rd overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Texans. The unanimous All-American from Alabama spent his first six seasons in the NFL with Houston, building his reputation as one of the best linebackers in the league. Ryans was the 2006 Defensive Rookie of the Year, went to multiple Pro Bowls, and was an All-Pro. He signed a six-year extension in Houston before the 2010 season.

Two years after signing an extension, Ryans was traded to Philadelphia in a deal considered a steal for the Eagles. He was traded for a fourth-round pick and a swap of third-round picks. He continued to play at a high level for the next two and a half years before tearing his Achilles tendon in a game against the Texans at NRG Stadium.

The playing surface at NRG Stadium (previously Reliant Stadium) was noted for being poor and suspected of being the reason for many players to have suffered injuries on it. Ryans sued the Texans and the NFL over the playing surface at NRG Stadium, seeking $10 million. Complaints about the playing surface at NRG ultimately led to the installment of a permanent artificial surface installed during the 2015 season. Prior to that, the Texans played on a natural grass surface that consisted of trays of sod.

Upon returning for the 2015 season, Ryans was no longer the impact player he had been and was released by the Eagles the following year.

In 2017, he began his coaching career with the 49ers as a defensive quality control coach. One year later, he was promoted to inside linebackers coach. He was named defensive coordinator in January 2021 when San Francisco’s previous defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, left to become the head coach of the New York Jets.

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