For his second and final season as the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator, DeMeco Ryans won the Associated Press Assistant Coach of the Year. During the NFL Honors show on Thursday night, Ryans earned the most first-place votes (35) and was named on 48 of 50 ballots. Under Ryans, the 49ers defense led the league in both points and yards allowed for the first time in franchise history.
"Coaching is teaching, it's leading, it's connecting and developing," General Manager Nick 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. All players can benefit from that. Young, middle veteran, veteran players. That's what football is about. What you have to figure out is how do we accentuate the strengths, get the most out of our players? There's a multitude of examples that DeMeco has had experience in San Francisco, and you see it tangibly on the field. I would say that's something that we're certainly excited about as we kind of think about what our team is going to look like next year."
Now as the Houston Texans new head coach, Ryans will look to revamp a Texans defense with several young playmakers including Derek Stingley Jr., Jalen Pitre, Christian Harris and other rookies added in this year's draft class.
"It's an incredible opportunity for them," former Texans LB Brian Cushing said. "He's going to be the perfect guy to learn from. He's got experience as a player. He's got experience now as a coach. This is the right guy for the job."