HOUSTON – Hi everyone. This is KPRC2 Sports Director Randy McIlvoy checking in with a quick Houston Texans update. Our newsletter is coming in today (Friday) because we wanted to wait until the big news over at NRG with the hiring and introduction of new head coach DeMeco Ryans!
In DeMeco we trust
This is huge news because it marks the homecoming for Ryans who was drafted by the Texans in 2006 and played in Houston through 2011 before he finished his career in Philly with the Eagles.
While here, he made an impact on and off the field and was a true leader back then and that has only carried over into his young coaching career which began in 2017. He started with the San Francisco 49ers and worked his way up over the years. The last two years he was the Niners defensive coordinator where his unit ranked No. 1 in the NFL.
RELATED: Who is DeMeco Ryans? Inside the Houston Texans head coach’s history with Houston, what we know about him and his past
DeMeco was a highly sought-after coaching candidate and he simply wanted to come home, calling this return to Houston “My dream job!” First order of business will be hiring his staff and interviews have already started with offensive coordinator candidates. Stay tuned as hires begin to happen in the coming days leading up to the NFL Combine and the draft in late April.
For now, here are a few top quotes from Thursday’s news conference:
CAL McNAIR: “Thank you for being here tonight. It’s my honor to introduce you to the Texans’ new head coach, DeMeco Ryans. Finished our search. Nick (Caserio) did a great job. Thank you, Nick. We worked together. This young man exhibited everything we wanted as far as leadership, football knowledge, led one of the top defenses for the last two years, and he fits exactly what we’re looking for to lead our team into the future. I’m not the first to say, but let me say it now, welcome you and your family to H-Town.”
NICK CASERIO: “Appreciate everybody being here. First of all, I would like to thank Cal and Hannah (McNair) for their support throughout this process, and the reality is football is a people business. That’s the reality of it, right? We’re going to win with people, and what better person to lead this organization, to lead this team, to lead these players, than DeMeco Ryans. I think everything that DeMeco exhibited as a player, what he’s done as a coach, his leadership, his selflessness, his toughness, his team-first mindset, his charisma, and I would say we didn’t really know each other, but the more and more time we spent together, it was almost a no-brainer as to who was the right fit for this team, this organization, this city. He is one of our own. He believes in our program. He has been in this building. He has been in our players’ shoes. He has been in this city. For him to come home, for him to give us the opportunity to be a partner with him, certainly grateful and appreciative and can’t wait to get started and can’t wait to get to work together. Thanks, DeMeco.”
DeMECO RYANS: “I would like to start by first thanking my family. Couldn’t be here without the sacrifices that they endured for me to have the opportunity to coach. I know everything that they’ve been through, and I’m just so thankful for my family, first and foremost, for being here with me. I would like to thank the 49ers organization for giving me the opportunity to grow as a coach, as a man. It was just outstanding. Six years there. Kyle (Shanahan), the York family, John Lynch and all the coaches, all the players that I had an opportunity to work with there. It was a special group, and I will be forever grateful to those men who allowed me to coach them and lead them over the past six years. Now here with the Texans, I can’t thank you enough, Cal (McNair), Nick (Caserio). I can’t thank you guys enough for believing in me, to give me this opportunity to lead the Texans, the team that drafted me here in 2006. It’s a surreal moment for me, and I’m thankful to God that He has just paved the way for me through everything that I’ve been through in life and for my paths to end up back here in my home, in H-Town where it all started. It’s truly a blessing. It’s still for me, I’m still trying to believe it. But this is outstanding, man. To all my former players and my former teammates that are here, it’s great to see all you guys here. The work we all put in together here, it means so much to me just to see you guys here, see your faces.
Man, for the support you guys have given me, it’s been outstanding. I love you guys. Love you guys so much. Thank you for your support. To the players that are here, the current players, I can’t wait to get started. I can’t wait to get started with you guys. Man, I’m fired up. This is a young team. We’re on the cusp. We have to add some pieces to what we’re doing here, but I’m so excited to get started and get to work with you young guys, and to build a winning program here with the Texans. I’m fired up. The excitement is real, and I can’t wait to get to work, to get to coaching. We want to bring a winning team. That’s what we want to bring to Houston. We want to bring you guys a team that you’re going to be proud of as fans. We’re going to fill up NRG Stadium, and we want you guys to make this truly a homefield advantage for us again.
All the excitement that we have right now, I’m excited and fired up, and our fans, we want to continue that excitement in supporting the team that we have here. Everything with me and Nick, we’re here to build this team together, build it the right way with the right people. Build it the right way with the right people. What we’re looking for, what I’m looking for and the type of players that we’re looking for are players who are looking to swarm. We want players that have a special work ethic and a relentless mindset in everything that they do. That’s what you’re going to see from Texans football. You’re going to see fast, you’re going to see physical, you’re going to see toughness. We want smart players who truly are dedicated to being the best that they want to be and guys who are coachable and guys that want to go win. That’s what we want to do. We want to do it in a first-class manner. We want to do the right way. I’m excited and fired up to get started with you guys.”
Why did you choose the Texans and did you give serious consideration to the other teams?
DeMECO RYANS: “Thanks for the question. I’m thankful for the Denver Broncos, and we had great interviews there. Great people there. But when it came down to it, there is no place I wanted to be any more than H-Town. It was an easy pick for me. It was a no-brainer to be here, be home. It was a no-brainer. It wasn’t a difficult decision at all. It was very easy.”
When did you first start thinking about wanting to be an NFL head coach, and did you think it would happen this soon? What does it mean to you to be one of only a handful of Black head coaches in the league?
DeMECO RYANS: “When I first thought about coaching, it was while I was playing. While I played, I was always interested into the development and the delivery of people around me. When I saw young Brian Cushing coming in as a rookie and being able to work with him and to help him alongside me, I wanted to make sure that Brian was the best that he could be because I knew if I poured into him everything that I knew and I helped him, if he was playing his best, I was playing my best, and we all played our best, then I knew we would deliver wins. That’s how I’ve been. I went to Philadelphia and worked with a young guy, Jordan Hicks. It was about me pouring into him all of the knowledge that I knew about football, about being a team leader and making sure he was his best when we played together. It meant so much to me to see Jordan do the same thing throughout his career. Cushing do the same thing throughout his career, reach back and help others. The reason I got into coaching was to help players.
That’s the only reason I got into coaching. I was able to get that opportunity out in San Francisco after playing. I sat out for a year, and I was able to go out there, and it was truly about just helping others. That’s what I want to do here with our guys is just developing our young men, developing the players to be the best players they can be on the field, but also I want to develop men to be the best men off the field. Develop great husbands, great fathers, great community men. That’s what coaching is to me. It’s about the development and delivery of men. To tie it all in, we want to develop a great team here that we can deliver wins to the city of Houston. We want to deliver a championship here to the city of Houston, and that’s what it will be about. And the second part of your question, it is an honor. It is an honor to be a head coach in the National Football League. It’s humbling. It’s truly a blessing to just be one of 32. (There’s) not a ton of these jobs, so to be trusted to lead this organization is something I take seriously, and I know the men who came before me and the sacrifices they made for me to be in this position leading the organization. I give credit to all the coaches who came before me to allow me to be here, and I’m thankful to those guys.”
What does it mean to you that J.J. Watt said the Texans got it right this time?
DeMECO RYANS: “It means everything. Everyone knows what J.J. Watt has meant to the city of Houston. Not just the football J.J. Watt. It’s the charitable work that J.J. has done. J.J. Watt represents the Texans. He is the Texans. For J.J. Watt to have that support of me, it means everything to me. I was blessed to be able to see J.J. Watt play in his last game. It was the Niners versus Cardinals in his last game, and to see him and the way he went out, he dominated.
He had, like, two sacks and beat up on our guys a little bit. But it was an awesome moment when J.J. walked off the field for the last time. For me to be standing on the sideline across from J.J. from when I was with him in his first career NFL game and to see him in his last NFL game walk off and see the applause, see the respect, see just everybody, and he was in the away stadium, but everybody on their feet applauding J.J. Watt because of the man that he is. That’s the type of team we want. We want to build this team with guys who have the character of J.J. Watt, who have that athletic ability, that dominance as a player as J.J. Watt. That’s the type of men we want in our organization.”