Ryans' opening presser

**Linebackers coach Johnny Holland

(opening statement)** "It's my pleasure to introduce DeMeco Ryans. DeMeco is a great athlete from the University of Alabama, and he definitely brings some leadership to our team as a young player. He has great character, and he's a young, athletic linebacker that is capable of playing all three linebacker positions for us. We are very honored to have a player like DeMeco. He comes from a great football tradition at Alabama. He was a three-year starter there, and he's been on winning football teams, so he can definitely bring a winning attitude to our team. We're definitely looking forward to having him. It's an honor, as a coach, to work with an athletic linebacker like DeMeco. Welcome, DeMeco."

*Linebacker DeMeco Ryans *

(opening statement) "I just want to say that I'm grateful and honored to be here. This is a blessing and a true honor, and it's a dream come true to be selected in the NFL draft and be playing in the NFL for the Houston Texans. It's a great city, it's a great place to be, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm just ready to help the team get on a roll, win some games in the playoffs, and compete for the Super Bowl. To the fans, I just want to let the fans know that I'm here to do whatever I can to contribute to help this team win."

(on when he knew he would end up in Houston) "It was a surprise. I didn't know. The only contact I had was at the Combine; I had good meetings with them at the Combine. I received a phone call on draft day right before the pick was up. I was smiling from cheek to cheek when I got the phone call. I was happy. Everybody in the house erupted when they saw my name pop up on TV."

(on how much bigger he thinks he can get) "I think I can get up to about 245 (pounds). But, I think it really doesn't matter about weight as long as you bring your heart and bring your 'A' game every day; it really doesn't matter."

(on what he knows about the Texans) "I know it's an up-and-coming team. They have a good quarterback, a good offense. We have to get the defense rolling so we can stop our opponents. Defense wins games and championships, so I'm just here, and I'm happy to be a part of this defense and get rolling."

(on looking forward to playing with Mario Williams) "Oh yes. I'm looking forward to playing with the No. 1 player selected in the draft. It's going to be great playing behind him."

(on his impressions of Houston now) "Everything I've been hearing is really good. Everybody is saying how great this town is, and there is a lot going on in Houston, and I'm looking forward to seeing what it's all about myself."


(on how important it was to get Ryans in round two after selecting Williams in round one) **"It was huge, I think. Charley Casserly—they really believe in the board that they put together for the draft. DeMeco's name fell right where we needed it, and it was a no-brainer to take DeMeco. He was high on our list, and he was a priority on our list. We feel fortunate as a team to have a player of this caliber."

(on where Ryans will line up)"Right now, it's a toss-up. We feel like he's a versatile player that can play all three positions. We want to get him on the field first and see where he fits best in our system. We feel very fortunate to have a guy that is capable of playing three different linebacker positions, and he played them in college, too."

(on where Morlon Greenwood and Shantee Orr will play)"Morlon is a 'Will' linebacker and Shantee is my 'Sam' linebacker. They're two really good players for us, and we're glad to have them, too."


(on the importance of being a team leader)** "Leadership comes by you doing what's right, yourself, so I feel like I have to learn the defense for myself first, and get myself in the right position where I know what's going on and know all about the defense before I can start to help. That's what I call leading by example. It's the best way I led in college; just by going to class, doing things right, getting it done out there on the field the right way. The other guys just held on to my coattail, and we turned our team around."

(on how it feels to know he'll have the opportunity to play right away) "It's great news, but I know it's not going to come easy. He's not just going to just give you a position. You have to go out and earn your starting position on this team. That's the only way I would like to have it. I don't like things given to me easily; I like to work for what I get. It makes you appreciate things a lot more when you go out and work for them."

(on his thoughts about Reliant Stadium) "It's amazing; it's a great facility. It's brand new, pretty much, and it's really nice."


(on the linebackers' role in the new defensive scheme) "We'd like to see a lot quicker and faster tempo of play from our linebackers, and I think a guy like DeMeco can bring that to our team. He has great speed and great instincts, and we'd like to continue to try to upgrade our speed and quickness as a linebacker group."


(on playing in an aggressive defensive scheme)** "It's great. As a linebacker, you love to be aggressive; you love to get at the offense. That's what you look for. Coming in and being a linebacker, it's great news to hear that's the kind of defense that we're trying to run here."

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