Sean Pendergast

DeMeco Ryans Among Early Favorites for 2023 NFL Coach of the Year

DeMeco Ryans is getting some serious love form oddsmakers for 2023 NFL Coach of the Year.
DeMeco Ryans is getting some serious love form oddsmakers for 2023 NFL Coach of the Year. Screen grab from YouTube
It's been a while since the betting community has had positive prognostication data about a Houston Texans head coach. In fact, the last time a Texans head coach was relevant for anything in the betting community was when people cashed their tickets at 10 to 1 for Bill O'Brien as "first head coach fired" for the 2020 season.

Since then, David Culley and Lovie Smith spent more time near the top of "Next Head Coach Fired" odds boards than they have getting possible Coach of the Year run, but like many things with the Texans in 2023, the times they are a-changin'! Earlier this week, put out their first set of NFL Coach of the Year odds for 2023, and you actually don't have to go far down the list to find DeMeco Ryans!

Here are the odds, with a few thoughts to follow:
Sean Payton 7/1
Matt Eberflus 10/1
Dan Campbell 12/1
Dennis Allen 12/1
Kyle Shanahan 16/1
DeMeco Ryans 20/1
Frank Reich 20/1
Mike McDaniel 22/1
Arthur Smith 25/1
Doug Pederson 25/1
John Harbaugh 25/1
Matt Lafleur 25/1
Mike Tomlin 25/1
Robert Saleh 25/1
Shane Steichen 25/1
Andy Reid 28/1
Brian Daboll 28/1
Kevin O'Connell 28/1
Nick Sirianni 28/1
Zac Taylor 28/1
Bill Belichick 33/1
Brandon Staley 33/1
Jonathan Gannon 33/1
Josh McDaniels 33/1
Mike Vrabel 33/1
Pete Carroll 33/1
Sean McVay 33/1
Kevin Stefanski 40/1
Mike McCarthy 40/1
Ron Rivera 50/1
Sean McDermott 50/1
Todd Bowles 75/1
OK, let's break this down:

How many games would DeMeco Ryans have to win to be in the conversation?
Let's start with this stat — the Houston Texans, over the last three seasons, are the worst team in the NFL, with a cumulative record of 11-38-1, and if the Jacksonville Jaguars didn't exist, who knows what their record would be! Five of those 11 wins have come against the Jags. We have to see how the schedule lays out, but if the Texans are in contention for a playoff spot in December, and keep in mind that 9-8 can get you into the playoffs these days, Ryans will get a ton of buzz. I think 10-7, which would almost be a lock for the postseason, would put him in serious consideration. So 9-8 is the cover charge for consideration, 10-7 makes him a finalist, 11-6 (which probably wins the division) and the trophy is his.

Sean Payton as the betting favorite is all about sizzle and fluff
With a Super Bowl championship to his name, Payton is inarguably the new hire this cycle that has the gaudiest resume. He also has the biggest reclamation project at quarterback, with the salary cap clogging contract of Russell Wilson under center. Payton is the favorite for the award partially because of his name and the sizzle that comes with it, and partially because he probably has the best potential ceiling of any top candidate for the award. In a Bronco dream world, Payton repairs Wilson and conquers the reigning Super Bowl champs to win his division. If he does both fo those things, he will win.

Poor Todd Bowles
Damn, when Bowles took over for Bruce Arians as head coach of the Bucs prior to the 2022 season, he was taking the reins of an operation that was a year removed from a Super Bowl title and an offense that had Tom Brady at quarterback. Fast forward, a year later, and now he is overseeing a sputtering operation, one that just signed Baker Mayfield to be its quarterback, and he is as far away as a coach can be from being considered the best at his job. Life comes at you pretty fast.

My best value pick is in the AFC South, but it's not DeMeco Ryans
Last season, the Giants' Brian Daboll was the winner, but right on his heels was the Philadelphia Eagles' head coach Nick Sirianni. Sirianni was in his second year as the Eagles' head coach, going 14-3 with a third year full time starter at QB in Jalen Hurts, after going 9-8 and sneaking into the playoffs in his first season. The man Sirianni replaced in Philly was Doug Pederson, current Jags coach, and ironically, I think Pederson has a similar story that could play out in Jacksonville. Pederson, like Sirianni, went 9-8 in his first year as Jags head coach, and now has an ascending team with a third year starter at QB in Trevor Lawrence. The Jags play a schedule that includes six games against the Titans, Colts, and Texans, and a crossover with the NFC South. Pederson at 25/1 has nice value.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at, on Instagram at, and like him on Facebook at
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast