When your grandmother has a premonition, you listen.
For DeMeco Ryans, that's how his dream of becoming a head coach began to take shape.
"My grandmother told me before she passed, like you're going to be a head coach one day," Ryans said. "And I remember that day talking to her and it always kind of stuck with me that she told me that. I never knew when and where, how it would happen but that did put the head coaching gig on my radar when she told me that. And it's come true."
On Sunday, Ryans will make his debut as head coach when the Houston Texans take the field in Baltimore. As the sixth coach in franchise history, Ryans is looking to help the Texans turn their franchise around after three consecutive losing seasons. Back in 2011, Ryans was not only on the field for the Texans' first-ever AFC South title and playoff berth, but he was a team captain as well.
"I'm just thankful to be in this position," Ryans said. "And again, I always go back to the reason why I coach. It's really just to help these young men be successful in their football careers and also off the field, their roles as husbands and fathers, as men in the community. I just want to help the young guys be successful. And that's why I coach. That drives me every single day to make sure these men are their best at what they do."
Ryans will be leading a team with several rookies making their NFL debut, including first-round draft picks QB C.J. Stroud and DE Will Anderson Jr. With 140 career games as a player and six seasons of NFL coaching under his belt, Ryans has a different perspective as a first-time head coach.
"Just like I tell the rookies, I'm not making it a bigger deal than it is," Ryans said. "I understand the job or task to go lead this group, lead the Houston Texans. And that's what I'll do. I lead it to the best of my ability, make sure our guys are prepared and ready to go."
Kickoff for the Texans-Ravens game at M&T Stadium is scheduled for noon CT on Sunday, Sept. 10.