Sean Pendergast

Houston Texans Announce 2023 Coaching Staff

DeMeco Ryans has assembled his first full coaching staff as the lead man for the Houston Texans.
DeMeco Ryans has assembled his first full coaching staff as the lead man for the Houston Texans. Screen grab from YouTube
DeMeco Ryans was hired by the Houston Texans all the way back on January 31, and introduced at a press conference as such back on February 2. Assembling a coaching staff has been the front burner item for Ryans and general manager Nick Caserio since then, and it finally all came to fruition this past Friday, as the team announced its 2023 coaching staff in an article on the team website.

Here is this season's Houston Texans coaching staff, with a few thoughts to follow. Holdovers from Lovie Smith's staff are in BOLD:
DeMeco Ryans, Head Coach
Matt Burke, Defensive Coordinator
Bobby Slowik, Offensive Coordinator
Frank Ross, Special Teams Coordinator
Stephen Adegoke, Safeties
Sean Baker, Assistant Special Teams
Danny Barrett, Running Backs
Ben Bolling, Defensive Assistant
Jacques Cesaire, Defensive Line
Shane Day, Senior Offensive Assistant
Jarrod James, Offensive Assistant
Jerrod Johnson, Quarterbacks
Chris Kiffin, Linebackers
Nick Kray, Chief of Staff
Bill Lazor, Senior Offensive Assistant
Ben McDaniels, Wide Receivers / Offensive Passing Game Coordinator
DeNarius McGhee, Offensive Assistant
Jake Moreland, Tight Ends
Jake Olson, Assistant to the Coaches
Cole Popovich, Assistant Offensive Line
Chris Strausser, Offensive Line
Cory Undlin, Defensive Passing Game Coordinator
Dino Vasso, Cornerbacks
Okay, a few thoughts on this group:

There are eight holdovers from the previous staff
I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, in terms of how many coaches are normally kept aboard with the new staff amidst a coaching change, but having now been through three of these January 2021, eight feels like a whole bunch. The holdovers are Ross, Baker, Barrett (who actually goes back to Bill O'Brien's staff), Bolling, Cesaire, McDaniels, McGhee, and Vasso. If we are looking at specific players who are getting to remain with their position coach from 2022, it's worth noting that Derek Stingley and Dameon Pierce, two of the more important building blocks for the future, will be working with their 2022 position coaches again.

Bobby Slowik is the headline, but Jerrod Johnson is probably the most familiar name for Texan fans
The story of the Houston Texans regaining some prominence in the NFL's pecking order will be driven by how much improvement they can show on the offensive side of the football. They will likely be drafting a young quarterback, and likely implementing some version of Kyle Shanahan's offense in San Francisco, with Slowik having been the passing game coordinator in San Francisco most recently. Johnson is a former Texas A&M quarterback from Humble, so he returns home, and is seen as a rising star in the coaching community. Worth noting, he coached both Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud at the Elite 11 camp back in their high school days. There could be a reunion with one of them upcoming on draft weekend.

Chris Strausser is the most important position coach
If the offense is the fuel to the rise of the Texans, then the offensive line is the most important position group on the team (aside from the starting quarterback). The Texans have heavily invested both draft capital and cap dollars into this group, and while they've been one of the brighter spots on an otherwise dismal team the last few years, they still haven't reached their potential. Strausser was most recently the offensives line coach in Indianapolis for a line that went from one of the best a few years ago, to one of the biggest disappointments in the league in 2022. The troubling thing is this decline happened with largely the same players that played so well in 2019 when Strausser got to Indy. What Ryans and Caserio see in Strausser should be a big question for both at the combine this week.

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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