Hannah McNair on hiring DeMeco Ryans: 'We're excited for H-Town'

A revolving door at the head coach’s office at NRG Stadium has finally stopped spinning with the arrival of DeMeco Ryans.

Since coach and general manager Bill O’Brien was fired in 2020, the Texans have technically had three head coaches, including interim coach Romeo Crennel, David Culley and Lovie Smith.

Having gone a combined 11-38-1 over the past three seasons, the Texans were beyond ready for a long-term solution. And they’re extremely confident they’ve identified a charismatic leader as they landed their top choice and arguably the best head coaching candidate this hiring cycle outside of Sean Payton.

Ryans, the former Texans Pro Bowl middle linebacker and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, has come home. The former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator, the architect of the NFL’s top-ranked defense, comes back to Houston with outstanding credentials and incredible popularity as he’s energized a dormant fan base.

Through a collaborative process that includes chairman and CEO Cal McNair, general manager Nick Caserio and Hannah McNair, the Texans’ foundation vice president, Ryans was signed to an extremely lucrative six-year contract.

“Yes it’s a long time coming,” Hannah McNair said following Ryans’ introductory press conference at NRG Stadium. “We’re happy it’s coming to fruition. We’re excited for H-Town. We’re excited for the fans.

“Really, we’re excited for the organization. We’ve all been working together to really get to this point to get the right head coach. Man, did we get the right one. That’s a home run there.”

Nicknamed ‘Cap,’ as a former defensive team captain, Ryans is the second all-time leading tackler in franchise history. Between his knowledge of the game, defensive strategies and ability to relate to players with his football background, the former second-round draft pick from Alabama wowed the Texans’ search committee.

“I think you can see how impressive he is,” Cal McNair said. “I do have a little bit of familiarity with DeMeco since he was drafted in ‘06. As a leader, it showed up in Alabama. He was a leader of their defense, the captain of the team, and they called him Coach. This has been in him a long time.

“When we drafted him in ‘06, he took over the defense, stepped into the middle, called the plays. He was captain, and they called him Cap. He has been a leader for a long, long time, and you see it here tonight, and we saw it on our calls. It was very evident. I can’t tell you how excited I am that he is here. He is going to lead this team where we’re going to be really happy for everybody.”

The Texans own the second overall and 12th overall picks of the draft and $37 million in salary-cap space with the ability to create additional financial flexibility.

And they’ve added a coach with a proven track record for developing talent, including 49ers All-Pro middle linebacker Fred Warner.

“I do think we’re in a different spot this year, and it’s exciting,” Cal McNair said. “We have some draft capital. We have some salary cap space. We have a young team. We have a fine young coach here that believes in developing young guys.”

Aaron Wilson is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans

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Houston Texans Introduce DeMeco Ryans as Head Coach

Photo: Getty Images

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