Linebacker DeMeco Ryans signs autographs after taking his official Pro Bowl team photo.
KAPOLEI, Hawaii –In the Texans' locker room, DeMeco Ryans is synonymous with one word. Players say it sums up the linebacker's personality on and off the field. He also uses it in almost every sentence before flashing a wide grin.
In Ryans' voice, that word is: "f-u-n!"
Fun is exactly what the second-year pro has been having during his Pro Bowl week in Hawaii, and he brought along some of his Houston teammates to share in the enjoyment.
"I've got Zac Diles, Earl Cochran, Charlie Anderson – coach (Johnny) Holland came out and Danny (Clark) is here, too," Ryans said. "All of those guys came out to support me out here. It's great to have my teammates out here with me in Hawaii."
For Ryans, it was important to extend the invitation to his fellow linebackers and the unit's coach, Holland. The first-time Pro Bowler said he wouldn't have made it to Hawaii without their support.
"They've really shown a lot of love for me," Ryans said.
So Ryans wanted to show some love in return and when he told his teammates and coach to start packing their bags, they did not hesitate for a second.
"They were all glad to have the opportunity to come out here to Hawaii and come out and experience this," Ryans said. "All of them were excited and jumped on it as soon as I told them about it."
Diles, a rookie linebacker, was the first in the group to arrive on the island. On Wednesday night, he and Ryans attended the NFL's Pro Bowl Welcome Luau, which featured hula dancers, flame throwers and spectacular fire works.
When asked if Diles picked up any new dance moves, Ryans responded:
"I hope not. I didn't see him (dance the hula). I think we might have to get that on camera if he did the hula dance."
The Texans group has been staying in Waikiki Beach, which is about 20 miles from Ryans' hotel. That means they haven't made it to the early-morning practices, but Ryans catches up with them in afternoon to enjoy the scenery.
"A couple of them had been here before so they knew what to expect, but anytime you come to Hawaii you are still in awe of how beautiful Hawaii is," Ryans said.
On Thursday night, Ryans and several Texans attended a Pro Bowl event hosted by former Oilers quarterback Warren Moon. The festivities united current players and former Pro Bowl legends, who talked about Sunday's game.
Ryans said that getting know Pro Bowlers from other teams has been one of the best parts of the week.
"I've been hanging out with Shawne Merriman and Ray Lewis and Lofa Tatupu," Ryans said. "I've just been hanging out with all of those guys. Everybody is so friendly and laid back. Everybody is just supposed to have a good time.
"No matter who you meet, everybody is just friendly and cool. It's good because a lot of times you never know how other guys are. They are just like us (the Texans)."
Waking up early Friday morning for team pictures and practice may not have been easy for Ryans, but once he hit the field in his official Pro Bowl uniform the linebacker started having, "f-u-n."