DeMeco Ryans is the leader of the Texans' defense that ranks 14th in the NFL. He spoke to the media Tuesday after learning that he made the 2010 Pro Bowl as a backup to Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis.
LB DeMeco Ryans(on this year's selection for him personally and the Texans being well-represented) "First and foremost, it's a huge honor to be selected to the Pro Bowl. A personal goal of mine at the beginning of the year is to make the Pro Bowl, and the team goal is to make the Super Bowl. But to see the guys we have selected with myself, Andre (Johnson), Mario (Williams) and (Brian) Cushing, it just shows how far the team is coming along. We've been growing and growing, getting better and better each year, and for us to get this type of recognition with four guys going to the Pro Bowl is a huge honor for our organization."
(on if this is a sign that the Texans are on the rise) "Oh, yeah. It's definitely a great sign, and I know that here now, we have the guys in place now. We're good now. We're just a few plays away from having a totally different season. We have the guys in place, and I'm excited about the guys we have and I'm very confident that we can get it done with the guys that we have right now."
(on how proud it makes him as a captain to have three Pro Bowlers on the defense) "Oh, man. It makes me proud. It makes me pump my chest a little bit and just shows that we have some solid guys on our defense that are getting recognition not only here in Houston, but we're getting the national recognition. The biggest thing is getting the respect from your peers and the coaches. That's the biggest thing. The fans did a great job. We appreciate the fans for voting us in. And it just shows that we have great talent here in Houston."
(on LB Brian Cushing making the Pro Bowl as a rookie after getting so much help from Ryans throughout the year) "He's a special player. I knew that when he first got out on the field. We knew he could be a special player for us. It was my job, this year, to give him that knowledge to go along with his athletic ability. To watch him grow, week in and week out, I'm just so proud of him. He's like my little brother out there and I'm always talking to him about how we can be great as a unit. I say that to him every week. 'Let's go out and be great. Let's be the best linebackers in the league.' That's our motto and that's our goal when we step out there on Sunday—to be the best. It was fun being able to tutor him and bring him up this year."
(on linebackers coach Johnny Holland having two guys in the Pro Bowl at the same position) "Johnny's a great coach. He's the best coach I've had. He's a great guy. He's just a great person off the field and on the field—he doesn't change. He does a good job of teaching. He teaches Brian. Brian goes in early and meets with Johnny on his own and I come in and try to put my two cents in on what I think and how we should do things. We all work together well. Johnny has just been such a good coach and a great leader for us. I think that's the biggest thing—he's just a great leader."