Inside the NFL Scouting Combine: Who will Houston try to lure to Texans in its continued rebuild?

HOUSTON, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 02: Houston Texans introduce DeMeco Ryans as head coach at NRG Stadium on February 02, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) (Bob Levey/Getty Images, Bob Levey/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – Hello to all of you football fans this is KPRC 2 sports director Randy McIlvoy checking in with this week’s Houston Texans newsletter!

Inside NFL Combine Week

As many of you know I’ve been in Indy for the annual NFL Scouting Combine for a few days covering the Texans contingent that has been here to meet with the media and of course scout players. This is step one of a long process leading up to the NFL Draft in late April.

This event has continued to get bigger and bigger every year I’ve attended. I’ve been to a handful but this is my first since 2014 and now the NFL has taken over the Indianapolis Convention Center for a week. We’re only here three days to cover the Texans, but it’s been productive.

The Combine runs through the weekend into early next week before the place empties out and it’s on to the start to free agency. The Texans have plenty of money to spend, so we’ll see who they go after and try to lure to Houston in this continued rebuild.

What DeMeco Ryans has been saying:

Will you call the defensive plays?

“We’re still going through that process right now. Haven’t decided that just yet, but Matt (Burke) is very capable of calling defenses. He’s done it before. He’s knowledgeable of our scheme and how we want to play, so I’m very confident in Matt calling the plays as well.”

How did you approach the process of selecting your coaching staff?

“I’m very excited about the coaches that we were able to hire. Starting with Bobby Slowik as our offensive coordinator, Bobby is a tremendous coach. He’s one of the smartest coaches I’ve been around. He’s always looking to grow and looking to learn more. Bobby has helped me as a coach grow. I’m very excited to see Bobby get with our players. Guys are going to be fired up. He brings great energy. He’s a great teacher. The guys he’s been around, they love him. Then on the defensive side, adding Matt Burke. Another guy who is a passionate coach and a really great teacher, energetic, a very knowledgeable coach. I’m excited what he can do, what he can bring to our team. I think the guys are going to love him. Then on the special teams front, with Frank Ross being there. The special teams did an awesome job in previous years here, so to keep him in place and keep some continuity there with our special teams. He’s teaching the same style that I want to play on offense and defense. It’s an aggressive, attacking style and I’m fired up to have Frank as well.”

How has your working relationship been with GM Nick Caserio?

“It’s been awesome working with Nick (Caserio). We hit the ground running. There haven’t been many breaks or much rest. We’ve hit the ground running and Nick is awesome to work with. Nick is a very knowledgeable guy and I’m happy to be a part of a team that has a GM in place who has so much experience. A guy that I can bounce ideas off of. He’s seen it done many ways and seen a lot of different players. Just having his knowledge and his experience has really been very beneficial to me. I’m excited to work with Nick. It’s been a very smooth transition, a smooth process. Communication has been awesome working with Nick. We see the game the same way, which is great. We see the game the same way and see players the same. It will be really nice to continue to work with him.”

What is the coaching staff doing back in Houston right now?

“Our coaches are back. They are going through their scheme. Coaches are implementing schemes on the offensive and defensive side. They’re going through scheme work, but they are also evaluating free agents in the process as well. We’ve talked about our profile of players that we look for. We went through that process. Offensively and defensively, we know the type of guys that we’re looking for. Our coaches are just combing through to make sure. There are a lot of great free agents out there, but every free agent isn’t for us. We want to make sure we get guys who are scheme fits and guys who fit exactly what we want them to do.”

How does your staff approach the process of evaluating free agents and players you have coached before?

“We’ll see how the process goes and see how it fits. We have some good players there in San Francisco. We’ll see. You have guys that you know. It’s easier to work with guys you know, but it’s all about finding the right guys for the Texans. That’s what we’ll do throughout this process.”

How will the Texans approach the quarterback position?

“We have one quarterback on our roster, so we have to add at that position. We’ll do it through free agency and the Draft. We have to add two guys to our roster, so looking to find the best guys that we can have. There’s a good group of quarterbacks in free agency and in the Draft.”

About the Authors:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.