The choice to hire DeMeco Ryans as head coach was easy for the Houston Texans. So easy, according to General Manager Nick Caserio, it was a "no-brainer".
The former team captain and Pro Bowl linebacker with the club returned to Houston and was introduced as the franchise's sixth head coach on Thursday at NRG Stadium.
With Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair to his right, and Caserio to his left, Ryans spent about 45 minutes answering questions from the media.
So too, were the reasons the Texans wanted Ryans.
"This young man exhibited everything we wanted as far as leadership, football knowledge, led one of the top defenses for the last two years, and he fits exactly what we're looking for to lead our team into the future," McNair said.
Once his 10-year playing career ended, Ryans began his coaching journey with the 49ers in 2017. He started as a defensive quality control assistant, then was elevated to an inside linebackers coach the next season. In 2021, he was promoted to defensive coordinator. The 2022 San Francisco defense was best in the NFL, allowing just 16.3 points per game.
"Coaching is teaching, it's leading, it's connecting and developing," Caserio said. "When you look at that criteria, then DeMeco believes in those principles, so when we kind of look at our team, look, those are things that are going to be important."
On top of Ryans' recent successes as a coordinator, Caserio pointed to Ryans' human side as an attractive characteristic.
"Everything that DeMeco exhibited as a player, what he's done as a coach, his leadership, his selflessness, his toughness, his team-first mindset, his charisma, and I would say we didn't really know each other, but the more and more time we spent together, it was almost a no-brainer as to who was the right fit for this team, this organization, this city," Caserio said. "He is one of our own. He believes in our program. He has been in this building. He has been in our players' shoes. He has been in this city."
Ryans and Caserio are working on building a coaching staff, and Ryans described who he’ll target in assembling those assistants.