Once again, it’s a new era in Houston. Only this time, it feels real. Now that the Houston Texans have hired DeMeco Ryans and are searching for new coordinators, there’s a true sense of relief and excitement among the fanbase. However, with ever new beginning comes some intricate and specific items we have to consider and look out for.
Let’s evaluate several of the Pros and Cons of the recent head coaching hire.
- Pro: Six year contract encourages long-term focus for the franchise.
After three consecutive seasons firing a head coach, it is beneficial for both sides for there to be a long term contract in place to err on the side of development.
- Con: Offensive-minded coaches are all the rage and are what lead to Super Bowl teams.
The final four teams this year were all lead by offensive-bred head coaches. Last year both head coaches came from the offensive playbook. In a league where the script is written from the offense’s perspective, having a coach who plays by that script is quite beneficial. The Texans going defense is a tad peculiar, but not an issue overall.
- Pro: A demonstrated commitment to the African American coaching community.
I want to approach this properly, but also not shy away from this topic. The way the Texans have hired their last two head coaches with the subliminal intention as transitional coaches has left many in the media and in coaching communities with disdain for the organization as a whole. For a team that almost hired a coach last round with zero coaching experience, I believe this is a strong indication of the ownership’s commitment to developing and nurturing a diverse coaching pool in the NFL.
- Con: if this does go poorly and Ryans is in fact fired after one or two seasons, the mark against the franchise’s recent head coaching decisions will be inexcusable.
The team’s recent short-term choices have implications beyond the game. For a league looking to improve its diversity and inclusion initiatives, they cannot afford for one of its franchises to rotate through coaches at such an appalling rate.
- Pro: Immediate excitement from the fanbase.
It’s obvious that interest is in a trough right now between the losing and poor mismanagement of the team. Even the Texans’ appear to be aware. For all intents and purposes, this choice has both compelled fan interest but also been a good hire for the sake of being a good hire. For instance, the Gary Kubiak hire was received with an “okay cool”, but was overall a strong head coach decision. The story hasn’t been written on Ryans’ coaching career, but the reaction has been abundantly positive.
I spent everyday with Demeco Ryans in the Philly linebacker room for 2 years.— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) January 31, 2023
Texans fans get excited because this is who Demeco Ryans is: pic.twitter.com/sHxFey4TwT
- Con: Lack of coaching experience.
Ryans has only been within one system and franchise. He did get promoted following the departure of head coach Robert Saleh, but he lacks a full coaching journey. It does say something that he’s risen to prominence so quickly, but a coach who doesn’t have experience with multiple player groups can be a concern.
- Pro: A young coach.
Is it that hard to find? Young up-and-coming coaches are all the rage right now. Finding the next long-term coach is extremely difficult and their shelf life is next to nothing. However, teams that can land a Mike Tomlin-level coach instills stability for a decade-plus. A coach who’s energy will captivate the fanbase is like a breath of fresh air while driving next to the sewage in Bellaire.
- Con: The San Francisco 49ers have talent the Texans don’t posses.
The Bay Area Boys have pass rushers, linebacker talent, and depth on defense the Texans could only hope to have in five years. Having that level of talent makes any defense prosper. It’s worth asking: was it the coach or the player? We’ll find out, and everyone suspects it’s C, ‘Both’, but any scheme looks great when you have a Bosa pressuring the QB and Fred Warner devastating anything in site.
- Pro: Texans young defensive talents have a new mentor.
Derek Stingley Jr., Jalen Pitre, and Christian Harris all had productive rookie seasons in 2022, but all left a lot on the table. DeMeco Ryans has been known for nurturing young talent and being a leader to look up to. If we hope to get anything out of these young stars, it’s now on Ryans to make it happen.
- Con: Texans will have to find a suitable defensive coordinator to fill in under DeMeco Ryans systems.
The Texans are without a defensive coordinator. There is plenty of talent on the market, but finding the right one may be trickier than you think. There’s a balance to be struck here; you need a guy who both fits into what Ryans wants from his defense but also has enough self-discipline to install his own set of plays and schemes. Someone who can call the defenses but isn’t too much of an upstart themselves that they’ll clash with a new coach. I can see the Texans doing a Romeo Crennel-esque hire and taking on a guy with years of experience to be the father in the room.