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Houston Texans need to let DeMeco Ryans coach

by Michael Hanich | February 3, 2023 at 10:40 a.m.

There is not a lot of discussion against it, the Houston Texans are among the biggest laughingstock of the NFL. In the past three seasons, the Texans have combined for the worst overall record in the league at 11-38-1. They are coming off a 3-13-1 overall record this 2022 NFL season as their 32-31 win at the Indianapolis Colts in the regular season finale kept them from acquiring the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

It isn't just the performance on the field that has been the issue for the Texans. The antics off the field regarding the move to trade Deshaun Watson and the hasty coaching moves have been the center of attention of the team in those three years. The Texans decided to fire Bill O'Brien as head coach after a 0-4 start to the 2020 NFL season. It didn't help that O'Brien, who was also the general manager, traded three-time first-team All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals in a package that didn't include a first-round pick in the draft.

The next season, the Texans hired former Baltimore Ravens assistant head coach and passing game coordinator David Culley to become the head coach for the 2021 season. Houston accounted for an overall record of 4-13 where Watson refused to play, rookie Davis Mills being the starting quarterback, and star defensive end J.J. Watt was cut during the offseason. Culley was fired by first-year general manager Nick Caserio after one season.

This past offseason, Houston hired its third head coach in three years by hiring former Chicago Bears head coach and Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Lovie Smith. In just one season where the Texans accounted for an overall record of 3-13-1, Smith was fired as head coach. Smith was fired the day after the regular season ended when the Texans defeated the Colts.

On Tuesday, January 31, the Texans hired former Texans defensive end and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. Ryans was among one of the best assistants in the NFL this season in just two seasons controlling and developing the defense for the 49ers. He took over as defensive coordinator after serving as the inside linebackers coach when Robert Saleh left to become the head coach of the New York Jets in the offseason going into 2021. Ryans coached the 49ers to becoming the ninth-best scoring defense (21.5 points allowed per game) in 2021. This 2022 season, the 49ers' defense finished the regular season ranked first in points allowed per game (16.3) and first in total yards per game (300.6).

Ryans has shown he can coach and develop players, which was a reason why the Texans and the Denver Broncos wanted him to revitalize the team. Ryans brings determination, youth, energy, high-IQ, and most of all, hope to the Texans' franchise. This was the belief as the Texans gave Ryans a six-year contract to coach the team.

Ryans has a long and tough battle as he has to change the toxic culture of the Houston Texans, left by Watson, Jack Easterby (former executive Vice President of football operations), and the franchise in general. They have left some decisions to be made for personnel less qualified to run the team. This left Mills (a former third round pick) become the starting quarterback for two years, cut a future Hall of Famer in Watt, trading Hopkins for little-to-nothing, and most of all poorly manage the sexual allegations against Watson.

The Texans have become a distrusted team regarding free agents and coaches. Their decision to go through four coaches in four years does not sit well with other personnel in the league. The Texans will have gone through as many full-time head coaches in October of 2020 as the Pittsburgh Steelers had though December of 1968.

There is hope for the Texans after the hiring of Ryans as head coach. Ryans will attempt to lead a young roster of players while convincing the front office of some players, who are set to be free agents. It also helps that the team is set with the #2 and the #12 overall (via Cleveland Browns) for the 2023 NFL Draft. One of the biggest goals this offseason is to get a young franchise quarterback, likely in the Draft by selecting Alabama's Bryce Young or Ohio State's C.J. Stroud. There are also other opportunities for potential trades, but they are not as guaranteed as acquiring Young or Stroud.

The biggest objective for the Texans' organization is just to trust Ryans with developing and coaching the team. Not only is Ryan having to rebuild the roster, he is having to rebuild the culture after the mess that the front office has made. This is a process that will likely take at least four years to fix up and look presentable. Ryans, his defense, and his new young quarterback will be the new faces of the team, not the front office.

Print Headline: Houston Texans need to let DeMeco Ryans coach


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