First reported by ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 31, the defensive coordinator behind the NFL’s top ranked defense has officially accepted the head coaching position for the Texans — bringing him back to the place where he had his first NFL playing stop. And Ryans has accepted a lengthy deal to return to “H-Town.”
“Former 49ers’ defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and the Houston Texans reached agreement today on a six-year deal, per sources. Texans have their new head coach,” Schefter tweeted.
Reactions to Ryans’ Hire Met With Widespread Praise
Ryans surfaced as the top contender for Houston immediately following the NFC Championship game loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Ryans was on his way to Houston after the game to meet with Texans officials.
Rapoport also added this curveball: The Denver Broncos weren’t finished with their own pursuit of Ryans despite reports they went in a different direction.
“Unbelievable: The Broncos spent today trying to hire DeMeco Ryans AGAIN today before he recommitted to the Texans, sources say. When he agreed to terms with the Texans, they moved and finalized Sean Payton,” Rapoport reported.
Now that the hire is complete, the Texans and Ryans were met with praise.
“One of the league’s most coveted young coaches heads back to Houston, where he began his All-Pro career as a top-tier LB and won DROY [Defensive Rookie of the Year],” NFL insider Jordan Schultz of The Score posted.
Former NFL offensive lineman turned radio personality Rich Ohrnberger labeled the Ryans hire as identical as when the Detroit Lions hired Dan Campbell, with both witnessing a franchise turnaround. He also predicted a turnaround in the AFC South.
“Cornerstone poured. This reminds me of the Dan Campbell hiring in Detroit. Ryans turn this franchise around,” Ohrnberger tweeted.
Former NFL safety turned actor Kerry Rhodes was another who predicted Ryans will reinvigorate Houston.
“My high school teammate! Good stuff my brother. He will get them back competing at a high level,” Rhodes said.
Meanwhile, fans of the 49ers sent out their appreciation posts toward Ryans for the job he delivered in the Bay Area.
One more fan sent his thanks to Ryans:
Ryans’ Impact Plus What 49ers Receive From Texans
For Kyle Shanahan, he has now produced two defensive coordinators who became head coaches. The other being Robert Saleh who is now with the New York Jets.
Ryans, though, took this defense to new heights. Along with their No. 1 ranking, here’s what else happened under Ryans’ watch this past season:
- The 49ers produced three Pro Bowl defenders in Nick Bosa, Fred Warner and Talanoa Hufanga — more than their 2021 total of just one (Bosa).
- Ryans’ defense produced a total of 92 regular season sacks in his two seasons as defensive coordinator.
- Bosa, Hufanga, Dre Greenlaw, Azeez Al-Shaair, Charvarius Ward, Deommodore Lenoir and Hassan Ridgeway all witnessed new career-highs in either sacks or tackles through Ryans.
- The 49ers’ 20 interceptions from 2022 was a significant jump from their 2021 total of nine.
Now, there will be a gift in return via Houston: The 49ers will receive a third round compensatory pick following the Texans hiring Ryans.