If you're wondering how badly Ryans wanted to become the head coach of the Houston Texans, take a minute or two and watch this video of his drive from the airport on Thursday over to NRG Stadium. We have a head coach who is pinching himself that he is coaching the Houston Texans!
As with any occurrence in the sports world, on or off the field, there are winners and there are losers. So without further ado, four big winners and four big losers from the Houston Texans' hiring of DeMeco Ryans as the sixth head coach in franchise history:
"I've always had the Texans deep in my heart." pic.twitter.com/UB1D6oyxgt— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) February 3, 2023
4. The 2022 rookie class
First off, I think the Texans' best rookie this past season, running back Dameon Pierce, is going to love DeMeco Ryans and I think DeMeco Ryans will love him, largely because everybody on earth loves both of them. On the defensive side of the ball, though, cornerback Derek Stingley has to feel like he got a "get out fo playing zone defense jail FREE" card. I'm thrilled we will get to see Stingley following number one receivers all over the field. I'm thrilled we will get to see safety Jalen Pitre used like he was at Baylor. Finally, I'm thrilled that linebacker Christian Harris will get to sit under the DeMeco learning tree very day. This is awesome.
3. The "TBD QB"
The Texans will be discarding the broken Pep Hamilton offense from the 2022 season, and presumably replacing it with some variation of the Kubiak-Shanahan playbook that Ryans is so familiar with from his time with the Texans as a player and the Niners as a coach. This is phenomenal news for whichever quarterback the Texans take in the draft, hopefully Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud. Unlike Davis Mills, the next young quarterback will be coming into a functional situation.
2. The Houston Texans ticket office
I'm not sure if you guys have noticed, but NRG Stadium has been half full for a couple seasons now. When it's close to capacity the last couple years, it's because the opposing fan base has invaded the stadium. (See: Week 15, 2022, Kansas City.) Well, from what I hear the phones are ringing over at NRG Stadium, and if you're a season ticket holder looking to get back on board, it may be Ryans himself answering the phone!
1. Nick Caserio
📞 Meco calling— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) February 3, 2023
Coach Ryans hopped on the phone to close the deal with our newest Season Ticket Member pic.twitter.com/7FCV1J49kF
Look, the last couple years have not gone well for anybody over at NRG Stadium (except maybe Dameon Pierce, who, I would like to reiterate, WE ALL LOVE). Nick Caserio was handed a massive cleanup project from the complete organizational destruction at the hands of Bill O'Brien and Jack Easterby. Not all of Caserio's decisions have been right. He'd probably like the Shaq Lawson trade back, and the Brandin Cooks extension isn't trending all that great, but he was able to trade Deshaun Watson for three first round picks, and it looks like he landed the best head coach of this hiring cycle and certainly the best one in ANY cycle for THIS franchise.
4. The Denver Broncos
The Broncos' trading for and subsequently hiring Sean Payton was followed within minutes with the "Ryans to Texans" news. Shortly after that, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that the Broncos actually made an 11th hour run at Ryans to try to steal him from the Texans, only to be rebuffed, and then have to settle for Payton. It's been fun watching Denver people realize that their job opening is not nearly what it used to be, and the only way to fill it with any sizzle is to make Sean Payton the highest paid coach in the league.
3. Stephen A. Smith
Watch the first 45 seconds of this video. It didn't age well.
2. Kyle Shanahan
Shanahan has become accustomed to other teams trying to cherrypick members of his staff to become coordinators or head coaches, so losing Ryans doesn't create a foreign dynamic to Shanahan. He is used to this. However, it's tough to imagine a better coaching prospect on Shanahan's watch than Ryans, who rose quickly to a position coach, and who, in two seasons, was the overseer of the best defense in football. Shanahan will find a new coordinator for his defense, but he won't find another DeMeco Ryans.
1. Kenyon Green and his number 59 jersey
Ryans, of course, wore the number 59 when he was a player for the Texans, so Texan fans everywhere will certainly be dusting off those old "59 RYANS" jerseys, and for those who don't own a "59 RYANS" jersey, know that the team store is already selling number 59 jerseys with the name "COACH" on the back. This is all really cool, except the Texans have an actual PLAYER who wears number 59, second year guard Kenyon Green, who sadly will see the front of all these newly minted 59 jerseys and think he's become super popular, only to find out it's his coach who has captured the hearts and minds of the fan base via team jersey.
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