The Houston Texans have hired former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans as their next head coach, according to ESPN.
A former second-round pick by Houston in 2006, Ryans burst onto the scene as a rookie linebacker, tallying 155 total tackles and winning the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award. He was a first-team All-Pro the next year. Ryans made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and ’09.
Ryans was traded to Philadelphia in 2012, where he posted two more seasons with over 100 tackles (he totaled six such seasons throughout his career) before calling it quits in 2015.
He was hired by San Francisco in 2017 as its defensive quality control coach, then became the team’s linebackers coach the following season. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2021 following Robert Saleh’s departure to New York.
Ryans thrived in the role, guiding the 49ers’ aggressive defense to give up the fewest points in football during the 2022 season. San Francisco led the league in interceptions, was the best second-half group in the NFL in points and rushing yards allowed, and had three first-team All-Pro players (Fred Warner, Nick Bosa, Talanoa Hufanga).
“Unbelievable coach, very sharp guy. DeMeco is special, I think he’s going to do a hell of a job,” Colts linebackers coach Richard Smith told KPRC in Houston. Smith was the Texans’ defensive coordinator when Ryans arrived as a rookie. “He came in as a rookie as the starter, and he made great adjustments. He would turn to me on the sidelines and say, ‘Hey coach, how about we do this?’ And he would be right about that adjustment.
“No highs and lows with him, he has an even-keel sense of confidence in him. I’m so excited for him. I’m excited for Houston that Cal is looking to bring back someone who’s part of the family and bring some stability to Houston. I think it will happen. I like that Cal has jumped out on it. Bob McNair, his father, would feel the same way. I’m so happy for DeMeco. It’s really exciting.”
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