DeMeco Ryans knows exactly what he wants from his soon-to-be hired assistant coaches.
At his introductory press conference Thursday inside NRG Stadium, the Texans Head Coach met with the media along with Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair and General Manager Nick Caserio.
Outside, the temperature hovered around the 40-degree mark, with grey skies and drizzle. But none of that weather dampened the sunshine inside the building.
In front of the media, his family, dozens of former Texans teammates, and 10 current players, Ryans said it was "surreal" to coach the team that drafted him in the second round of 2006. He described how he's "fired up" to get to work with the current players, and how they'll all work to "make the city of Houston proud".
His next order of business is assembling a staff of assistants. Ryans served as the 49ers Defensive Coordinator the last two seasons and said he hadn't decided yet whether or not he'd call the defensive plays in Houston.
Caserio and Ryans have been in constant communication over the last few days, and the coaching staff has been one of many key topics they've discussed.
"Since he took the job, we haven't stopped talking," Caserio said.
While he didn't mention any specific names, Ryans described the need for a diversity of experience on his staff.
"We want experienced coaches," Ryans said. "We want some coaches with not so much experience. You want a diverse staff because players learn differently. We want them to be able to present things in a different way to different players, to make sure that when they step on the field Sunday, there are clear minds. They're not thinking, they're playing as fast as possible."
Whether those coaches are long in the tooth or new to the NFL, Ryans also explained another key characteristic they all must possess.
"We want coaches who are great teachers," Ryans said.
That teaching aspect will get fostered, according to Ryans, by "positive energy" and an ability to "connect" with players.
"If you can connect with players, then you can lead players," Ryans said. "But if you can't connect, then there's no way you can coach those guys. We want guys who are bringing energy and doing it in a fun way. We want guys who are truly committed to working together. No egos allowed. No energy vampires allowed. We want a positive culture. We're going to work together to make sure we're giving the players everything they need."
Ryans and the coaches will get together with the players for the first time in early April when the team begins its offseason conditioning program at NRG Stadium.