Texans’ DeMeco Ryans on coaching style: ‘Players don’t care about how much you know, they’re focused on how much you care’

New Texans coach hopes to build winning foundation through starting a strong connections with players, leadership and hard work

DeMeco Ryans gives a thumbs-up as he arrives at NRG Stadium in Houston for an NFL football news conference formally announcing him as the new head coach of the Houston Texans, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) (Michael Wyke, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – DeMeco Ryans’ rich football experience has many influences spanning from his time as a consensus All-American at Alabama, to his Pro Bowl middle linebacker days with the Texans.

Those roots extended to the Philadelphia Eagles and, then, as a coach with the San Francisco 49ers as the boss of the NFL’s top-ranked defense.

From Joe Kines at Alabama to NFL coaches Gary Kubiak to Andy Reid to Chip Kelly to Kyle Shanahan along with Wade Phillips, Richard Smith, Johnny Holland and several others, Ryans has gained a ton of knowledge that he’ll apply as a first-time head coach with the Texans.

For Ryans, before implementing strategies and schemes, it’s, first and foremost, about building connections with people. That’s his intangible approach for relationships with his players as their new leader after being hired a week ago and signed to a six-year contract.

“The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten about coaching is that the players don’t care about how much you know, they’re focused on how much you care,” Ryans told KPRC 2. “That’s the one thing that has always stuck with me and allowed me to be a successful coach is that I truly care about the men I’m working with.”

A former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowl middle linebacker, Ryans is one of the most highly accomplished players in franchise history.

As he puts his imprint on the Texans, Ryans is determined to launch his program with a foundation of hard work and camaraderie.

Starting a winning culture is what the Texans need after enduring three consecutive losing seasons, going 11-38-1 under Lovie Smith, David Culley, Bill O’Brien and interim coach Romeo Crennel.

“It begins with the mindset of the people that you bring in right the mindset,” Ryans said. “We want to get guys and acquire guys who come from winning programs and they know what winning looks like and they know what winners look like.

‘When you build around a group of guys and a nucleus of guys and they work with a championship mindset, that’s how we begin to build champions. But you have to work like champions before you become champions.”

Aaron Wilson is a contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com

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