The Houston Texans don’t exactly get many decisions right these days.
It’s the reason the organization has not won a playoff game since its inception into the NFL in 2002. It’s also why they’re about to hire their fourth head coach in as many years.
But it appears they may be on the verge of a head coaching hire that would be a popular move throughout league circles.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, Houston is zeroing in on San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans as its next head coach.
“#49ers DC DeMeco Ryans has emerged as a top candidate for the #Texans, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. He’s expected to meet with Houston at some point next week after the game. There is mutual interest and if all goes well, he could be their next head coach,” Rapoport said in a tweet.
Ryans played 10 years as linebacker in the NFL including his first five in Houston, where he was named a Pro Bowler in 2007 and 2009. He transitioned to coaching in 2017 and has quickly become a rising star.
The former Alabama star took over as the Niners’ defensive coordinator in 2021 after Robert Saleh left to become the head coach of New York Jets.
San Francisco’s defense has thrived in those two seasons. They ranked third in yards allowed and ninth in points allowed in 2021 and have only improved in 2022. This season, Ryans’ unit ranked first in both yards per game and pints per game allowed.
The advanced metrics were even more impressive. Football Outsiders’ ranked San Franscisco seventh and first in DVOA the last two seasons. While TruMedia’s EPA per play put them 11th and first.
That’s no guarantee that he’ll succeed as a head coach. But it sure seems like Houston is taking a chance on a budding young star.