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Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship "vital"; Johnathan Joseph's help "instrumental"

One of the best Texans defenders in franchise history is helping one of the best Texans defenders in franchise history.

Head Coach DeMeco Ryans is nearly eight months into his new job, and the former linebacker has been assisted over the last month by former cornerback and teammate Johnathan Joseph.

The latter took part in the Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship Program. Ryans is thankful for Joseph's presence, and thankful for the program itself.

"It's very vital to the NFL," Ryans said Monday. "A lot of guys who wouldn't normally get opportunities are getting opportunities to join staffs and see how the workflow goes in the NFL."

Joseph was one of eight who took part in the program during Texans training camp, and Ryans explained the impact of the former Pro Bowler on second-year cornerback Derek Stingley, Jr.

"It's been great having Johnathan Joseph around," Ryans said. "He's been really instrumental in helping our young defensive backs. Especially working with Stingley. Just being able to relate. He's been in that position. He understands what it looks like. He understands what it takes to be a really great player. I was very happy to have him around, and work with those guys."

Joseph spent 16 seasons in the NFL, including nine with Houston. He and Ryans were teammates in 2011 when the Texans won their first AFC South title and went to the playoffs.

During a coaches meeting at the start of training camp, Ryans highlighted the importance of the Walsh program to his staff.

"I asked all our guys who were a part of that program to stand up," Ryans said. "You look at our staff and I think we have about five or six guys who were a part of that program who are now on an NFL coaching staff. So it shows that the program is definitely vital, and it's important to see guys get the opportunity and know that there are a lot of great coaches out there that just need that opportunity. That's what the Bill Walsh program provides."

Ryans and the Texans will have Tuesday off, and return to the practice fields at the Houston Methodist Training Center on Wednesday morning.

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