The future of the Houston Texans remains up in the air as general manager Nick Caserio searches for a new head coach and offensive coordinator. But in this search forward, it might be wise for Texans to look to their past.
San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was a 2006 second-round draft pick for the Texans. The linebacker went on to be named Rookie of the Year, was named to two Pro Bowls, and was a 2007 first-team All-Pro. Ryan’s was eventually traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012 before retiring after the 2015 season.
Ryans transitioned into coaching in 2017 as the 49ers’ defensive quality control coach. This was followed by a promotion to inside linebackers coach from 2018 to 2020, after which he was promoted to coordinator, replacing Robert Saleh, who just finished his first year as head coach with the New York Jets.
In his first year as coordinator for the 10-7 49ers (who are in the playoffs with the Dallas Cowboys), his defense came third in total length allowed, sixth in passing yards, and seventh in rushing yards, despite only three players starting all 17 games . Ryans also helped defensive end Nick Bosa reach his second Pro Bowl.
In a league where every team is trying to find a promising young manager who can bring new ideas and a fresh mind, what better way for Houston to do so than in the form of one of their former players.
We say this while acknowledging that Caserio’s search for the head coach appears to be about plucking names from the Patriots tree – namely Jerod Mayo and Brian Flores. No problem, but a full search should complete it.
Meanwhile, if getting one 49ers coach isn’t enough, why not two? Wes Welker, coach of the Niners receivers, began his coaching career in Houston as an offensive assistant and special teams adviser under Bill O’Brien for two seasons before joining the 49ers.
Since then, the former All-Pro has worked his magic on Deebo Samuel, who himself was named to his first All-Pro team this year.
Welker was someone who had wide audiences gravitating towards him during his time in Houston, trying to soak up as much information as possible from the former New England Patriot — yes, Welker fits the “Patriots South” mold. Another young coach rising through the ranks Welker would be able to bring a wealth of experience to the table, having played alongside the likes of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady to perhaps freshen up this often stale Texans offense.
There is nothing wrong with “Patriots South”. But during a quest? There’s nothing wrong with “The Best of Texans” either.