How Shanahan, 49ers helped Ryans prepare for Texans HC job


INDIANAPOLIS — DeMeco Ryans expressed appreciation for his time with the 49ers in preparation for his role as the head coach of the Houston Texans.

“Couldn’t have asked for a better start on the coaching journey,” Ryans said while at the NFL Scouting Combine. “Kyle has been outstanding to my development as a coach. He gave me an opportunity as a QC [quality control] to come in and truly learn what coaching is all about. 

“I thought I knew. I thought I could come in and just start coaching right off the bat.” 

Ryans arrived in the Bay Area in 2017 following a 10-year career in the NFL. The former Texan and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker quickly earned the role of coaching his former position the following season until he was named defensive coordinator in 2021

“I am very thankful for Kyle teaching me that you can’t miss steps,” Ryans said. “You have to go through every step if you want to be a great coach. Going through that QC phase, linebacker coach, hitting every step, that was the most important thing I could have done to allow me to be in the position I am right now.” 

Ryans joins a Texans franchise that has not seen a winning season since 2019 and has had four different head coaches in as many years. The former 49ers defensive coordinator hopes to use the example of Shanahan and general manager John Lynch for success in Houston. 

“I learned from the relationship between John and Kyle to do things and be successful in this league and it’s all about collaboration, Ryans said. “It’s about putting egos to the side, it’s about truly working together.” 

The newly named head coach reports he is already following the daily routine of Lynch and Shanahan, who meet every morning to institute open communication with his general manager. Ryans also brought a few familiar faces with him to Houston to make the transition more efficient. 

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Bobby Slowik, who was previously the 49ers' offensive passing game, will take over as Ryans’ offensive coordinator. Nick Kray, who was the Chief of staff for the 49ers will assume the same role with the Texans. 

“Definitely thankful for Kyle thankful for John, and the 49ers for the opportunities that they provided me,” Ryans said. “Being able to move up in a first-class organization and everything that they’ve done, I wish those guys nothing but the best.”  

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