NFL: Reports: Texans hire 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans as head coach

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The Houston Texans hired DeMeco Ryans as their head coach Tuesday afternoon, multiple reports said.

The hire was widely expected after the NFL Network and KPRC2 in Houston reported Monday that the Texans planned to finalize a deal with Ryans after a second interview. With Ryans’ San Francisco 49ers losing in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, he was freed up to complete a second interview with Houston, per NFL rules.

The Texans’ official Twitter account posted earlier Tuesday that the team had “completed additional discussions with DeMeco Ryans regarding our head coaching position.”

Ryans, 38, spent the past two seasons as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator. He was their inside linebackers coach for three seasons before that.

A former linebacker, Ryans spent the first six seasons of his playing career with the Texans, who selected him with the first pick of the second round in the 2006 draft. He was Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2006 and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009.

Ryans also spent 2012-15 with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In 140 career games (139 starts), Ryans amassed 970 tackles, 13.5 sacks, seven interceptions, seven forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries.

His work with the 49ers’ defense drew plaudits. He assumed the coordinator position after Robert Saleh left the team to take the New York Jets’ head job. The Niners allowed the fewest points (16.3) and yards per game (300.6) in the NFL in 2022 and generated 30 takeaways.

Ryans replaces Lovie Smith, who was the second straight Texans coach to be let go after one season. The Texans went 3-13-1 in 2022 and will pick second in April’s NFL draft.

The 49ers have requested to interview Steve Wilks for their defensive coordinator vacancy. Wilks is under contract with the Carolina Panthers, where he was the defensive coordinator and interim head coach in 2022. Carolina interviewed Wilks for the full-time head coach gig before hiring Frank Reich.

–Field Level Media

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