Sean Pendergast

DeMeco Ryans Becomes Oddsmakers' Favorite for Next Texans Head Coach

Nick Caserio has a big decision to make, and DeMeco Ryans is right at the center of it.
Nick Caserio has a big decision to make, and DeMeco Ryans is right at the center of it. Photo by Jack Gorman
Business most definitely picked up this week in the Houston Texans' search for their next head football coach. Monday through Wednesday were dotted with Sean Payton news items, from his seeming approval of the quality of the Texans' opening to rumors that the team's Zoom interview with him may have revealed some (possibly) fatal flaws to the Super Bowl winning former Saints coach.

Friday, though, is when things started to feel real and true emotion began to flow, as the team announced late Friday evening that they had indeed conducted an interview, with hopefully more to come, with former Pro Bowl linebacker and team icon, DeMeco Ryans, who had been mixing in interviews for all of the available openings with his preparation for the playoff's divisional round on Sunday afternoon.

Here was the team announcing Ryans' interview:
Later that night, another franchise icon, maybe THE biggest franchise icon in team history, J.J. Watt took to Twitter to give what appeared to be his stamp of approval should the Texans (or anybody, for that matter) hire DeMeco Ryans:
It's worth noting that Watt and Ryans only spent one season together in Houston, it was Watt's rookie season in 2011, and even in that offseason leading up to the 2011 regular season, there were no OTA's or minicamp because of the work stoppage that summer. Also, Ryans was coming off an Achilles tear the year before.

My point in bringing these facets of Ryans' Texans career up, is that Watt was formulating his opinion on Ryans on a very limited sample size of interaction, while probably observing a hobble, injury-rehabbing player. In short, Ryans makes immediate and impactful early impressions on people, and he is no doubt the people's choice, along with Payton (for entirely different reasons than Ryans), to be the next head coach of this organization.

For what it's worth, at least one corner of the betting community is feeling strongly like a reunion between Ryans and the Texans is forthcoming. Here are the DraftKings odds on next Texans head coach:
Here are the above odds in list form:
Demeco Ryans +250
Jonathan Gannon +350
Shane Steichen +450
Sean Payton +1000
Josh McCown +1200
Eric Bieniemy +1500
Dan Quinn +2000
Leslie Frazier +2000
Ejiro Evero +2500
Byron Leftwich +2500
Brian Callahan +2500
Thomas Brown +2500
Shane Waldrum +2500
Raheem Morris +2500
A few quick thoughts on these odds. DeMeco Ryans' being atop the odds board may be more of a reflection of the fan sentiment than the actual chances the two sides find love with one another. It still feels like this might be Gannon's job to lose, as he was a finalist last season, and supposedly Nick Caserio is very fond of him.

Second, there are some fairly ridiculous names on here. McCown's inclusion seems to be a stab at getting money from the legion of Texans skeptics out there that think nothing has changed, even though Jack Easterby was fired in October.

Finally, the best VALUE on the board, in my opinion, is Evero at +2500. The Denver broncos defensive coordinator is impressive enough, despite very little experience even at the coordinator level, to have garnered interest from all five of the teams with openings. Much like the odds on favorite, Ryans, who is in the interview phase with all five teams looking for a coach.

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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