Former 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans leads Texans to AFC South title

Jan 7, 2024, 1:36 PM

Head Coach DeMeco Ryans of the Houston Texans reacts against the Cleveland Browns during the third ...

HOUSTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 24: Head Coach DeMeco Ryans of the Houston Texans reacts against the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at NRG Stadium on December 24, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

DeMeco Ryans only one season to turn the Houston Texans franchise around.

The former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator has led the Texans to their seventh AFC South title in franchise history.

Ryans joined the 49ers’ coaching staff in 2017 as a quality control coach, coming off a lengthy career as a prominent linebacker in the NFL. Working his way through the ranks, Ryans quickly became a locker-room favorite. He was then promoted to defensive coordinator after the departure of Robert Saleh in 2021, his instincts and knowledge of the game showed in his players.

But before he started coaching, Ryans played professionally in Houston, which included AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2006 and first-team All-Pro nods in 2007 and two Pro Bowl appearances 2007 and 2009. At his introductory press conference, he said choosing the Texans was easy.

“When it came down to it, there is no place I wanted to be any more than H-Town,” Ryans said in February 2023. “It was an easy pick for me. It was a no-brainer to be here, be home. It was a no-brainer. It wasn’t a difficult decision at all. It was very easy.”

With their win Saturday and the Jacksonville Jaguars loss Sunday, DeMeco Ryans and the Texans will host the Cleveland Browns during Wild Card Weekend.

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