When the Texans take the field against Baltimore, we'll get another early idea of what we'll call the 'DeMeco effect.'
The head coach makes his debut. He's the first Texans mentor to begin his tenure on the road. And Houston coaches are 3-1-1 in their first games.
None of that matters though. What does matter is the Texans have a head coach who understands things well from a players' perspective and as an accomplished coordinator.
Now he's at the helm in his first game that counts. He knows what Houston is up against. Besides the personnel on the other side of the ball, I asked him on Texans Radio about the noise in the Ravens' nest. He told me he showed the team a game tape of Baltimore hosting Miami in their home opener last year.
"I cranked up the volume as loud as I could in the team room, just to let them know 'This is what it's going to sound like…don't be surprised.' They got the point. The huddles in practice have been tight. They've been operating really well. It's a matter of them going out and actually doing it under the real circumstances."
I loved that Ryans called off joint practices with the Saints two weeks ago to get his team healed up and coached up. They responded with a solid win in the Superdome. It couldn't have been an easy decision to change plans like that, but it worked.
We're going to get all sorts of examples on how his leadership affects the outcome of games and team performance. This is only the beginning but it's so exciting that we're finally here to write another chapter in Texans gridiron history.
The coach knows his crew will be sky high on Sunday. Yet being fundamentally sound is crucial. "Our guys are excited to go cut it loose." He said, adding "We want them to play smart football but also have that aggression. To be the most physical team."
What about the rookies, who's performance will figure heavily in the team's success? They'll be making their debut, in a place they've likely only seen on TV. "They have to take that moment in, to reflect. But then you have to go out and remember that it's still football and don't let the lights become too big for you. Just go out and continue to play really good football. That's why you were selected in the draft. That's why you were added to our team. So just do what you've been doing and go have fun playing football."
Here's hoping the Texans play well, have fun and win. Something they've never done in Baltimore.
The coach was asked in a press conference about his last game as a Texan. It was the 2011 season playoff loss at Baltimore. He loved that team. We all did. But that's history. There have been some rough moments in Maryland and this is a chance to get a first victory there and kick off the Ryans era with a bang.