Report: Texans' Ryans hire could be finalized in coming days


DeMeco Ryans reportedly is expected to be named the sixth head coach in Houston Texans franchise history in the next few days.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Monday, citing sources, that Ryans could meet with the Texans as soon as Monday, and Houston is expected to finalize the hiring on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Ryans and the 49ers traveled back to the Bay Area after their season-ending 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.

Being hired as the Texans' next head coach would mark a homecoming for Ryans, who spent the first six seasons of his playing career in Houston after he was selected in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Alabama. Ryans made two Pro Bowl appearances in a Texans uniform and was named the 2006 NFL AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. 

Ryans arrived in the Bay Area on coach Kyle Shanahan's staff in 2017 and worked his way up to defensive coordinator, a position he held for the last two seasons. In 2022, the 49ers' defense ranked first in total yards (300.6) and points (16.3) allowed per game.

"He's the ideal leader with whatever he does; he was that way when he came into Houston as a rookie linebacker," Shanahan said last week. "He took over that defense right away. You could tell who was in charge when he was a 21-year-old. He came in here as a quality control and within like six months we moved him to linebacker coach.

"He has always been that guy."

Ryans has his work cut out for him if he does agree to take the next step of his coaching career in Houston. The Texans finished the 2022 NFL season 3-13-1 and have questions to address at quarterback, as Davis Mills didn't quite live up to expectations in his second season.

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There's another lingering concern around the job in Houston, as well. The Texans have fired their head coach in three consecutive years: Bill O'Brien (2020), David Culley (2021) and Lovie Smith (2022).

But Ryans, who reportedly had his name in the mix for all five open NFL head-coaching jobs, surely wouldn't take the Texans gig without assurances for a long-term marriage.

"I thought he was ready last year to be a head coach," Shanahan said. "And I hope his wife doesn't get mad, but I hope he's not a head coach next year.

"But if he is, he more than deserves it.”

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