DeMeco Ryans
refer to caption
Ryans with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012
Houston Texans
Position:Head coach
Personal information
Born: (1984-07-28) July 28, 1984 (age 39)
Bessemer, Alabama, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:247 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Jess Lanier (Bessemer)
College:Alabama (2002–2005)
NFL Draft:2006 / Round: 2 / Pick: 33
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
As a player:

As a coach:

Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:971
Sacks:13.5
Forced fumbles:7
Fumble recoveries:10
Interceptions:7
Head coaching record
Regular season:10–7 (.588)
Postseason:1–1 (.500)
Career:11–8 (.579)
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

DeMeco Ryans (/dɪˈmk/; born July 28, 1984) is an American football coach and former linebacker who is the head coach for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). Ryans played college football at the University of Alabama, where he was named a unanimous All-American.

Ryans was selected by the Texans in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, where he was recognized as the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Ryans was selected to two Pro Bowls before being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012, where he spent four seasons before retiring. Ryans joined the San Francisco 49ers as a coaching assistant in 2017 and coached the inside linebackers from 2018 to 2020 before being named their defensive coordinator in 2021. Ryans was hired as the head coach for the Texans in 2023.

Early years

Ryans was born in Bessemer, Alabama.[1] He attended Jess Lanier High School in Bessemer, where he played high school football.[2] In his senior season, Ryans had 135 tackles, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions. Considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, he was listed as the No. 39 inside linebacker prospect in the nation from the class of 2002.[3] He picked Alabama over Mississippi State.[4]

Playing career

College

Ryans attended the University of Alabama, where he played outside linebacker for coach Mike Shula's Alabama Crimson Tide football team from 2002 to 2005.[5][6] Ryans started his career by earning a role on special teams and backup linebacker in his first season. By making great improvements every year in his college career, Ryans went on to become the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year for his performance in 2005.[7] Later on, he attributed much of his college success to his defensive coordinator at Alabama, Joe Kines. Ryans was named the 2006 Cotton Bowl Classic defensive MVP in their 13–10 win over Texas Tech.[8] Following his senior season, Ryans received the Lott Trophy for his combination of athletic excellence and off-the-field achievements and was recognized as a unanimous All-American.[9][10]

Awards and honors

National Football League

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 1+14 in
(1.86 m)
236 lb
(107 kg)
31+38 in
(0.80 m)
8+58 in
(0.22 m)
4.69 s 1.67 s 2.73 s 4.18 s 7.19 s 39 in
(0.99 m)
10 ft 9 in
(3.28 m)
23 reps
All values from NFL Combine[12][13][14]

Houston Texans

Ryans with the Texans in 2010

Ryans was selected with the first pick of the second round (33rd overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Texans.[15] He was the highest-selected Alabama linebacker since Dwayne Rudd was drafted 20th overall by the Minnesota Vikings in 1997.[16] Though Ryans had been an outside linebacker in college, he earned the starting middle linebacker position due to his excellent performance in the preseason. In his first game, Ryans recorded a league-high 12 solo tackles against the Philadelphia Eagles.[17] He had an overwhelming impact as a rookie, leading the Texans in tackles in the first half of the 2006 season. Ryans was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance during a Week 13 23–14 victory over the Oakland Raiders in which he recorded 15 tackles, three pass deflections, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and an interception.[18]

Ryans was named the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after finishing second in the league with 155 total tackles (Zach Thomas led the NFL with 165), 31 more tackles than the next rookie (Detroit Lions linebacker Ernie Sims).[19][20] Ryans was also named to the NFL All-Rookie Team.[21] In 2007, Ryans was named a first-team All-Pro linebacker and was selected to the Pro Bowl twice in 2007 and 2009.[22][23]

On March 30, 2010, Ryans signed a six-year extension worth $48 million, including $21.75 million guaranteed.[24]

Philadelphia Eagles

On March 20, 2012, Ryans was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2012 fourth-round draft pick (used on Ben Jones) and a swap of third-round picks between the two teams (used on Brandon Brooks and Nick Foles). Ryans was immediately inserted as the team's starting middle linebacker.[25] Although the Eagles were 4–12, Ryans still made plays, leading the team in tackles with 113 while adding a sack and interception.[26]

In 2013, Ryans improved even further, leading the team in tackles once more with 127, while also recording career highs in sacks (4.0), interceptions (2), and interception return yardage (46).[27] On January 4, 2014, he had 10 tackles and his first postseason interception during a narrow 26–24 loss to the New Orleans Saints.[28]

On November 3, 2014, Ryans was placed on injured reserve after tearing his Achilles tendon.[29]

Ryans was released on February 24, 2016.[30]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR Yds TD
2006 HOU 16 16 156 126 30 3.5 5 1 16 16.0 16 0 1 1 0 0
2007 HOU 16 16 128 99 29 2.0 7 1 1 1.0 1 0 1 3 26 1
2008 HOU 16 16 112 86 26 1.0 4 0 0 0.0 0 0 2 3 47 0
2009 HOU 16 16 123 93 30 1.0 2 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 1 29 0
2010 HOU 6 6 54 32 22 1.0 2 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2011 HOU 16 16 64 44 20 0.0 4 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 0 0 0
2012 PHI 16 16 113 86 27 1.0 4 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 PHI 16 16 127 102 25 4.0 7 2 46 23.0 36 0 0 0 0 0
2014 PHI 8 8 45 36 9 0.0 4 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2015 PHI 14 13 49 32 17 0.0 5 1 0 0.0 0 0 1 1 0 0
Career 140 139 970 735 235 13.5 41 7 63 9.0 36 0 7 10 102 1

Postseason

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR Yds TD
2011 HOU 2 1 11 4 7 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 PHI 1 1 10 8 2 0.0 1 1 23 23.0 23 0 0 0 0 0
Career 3 2 21 12 9 0.0 1 1 23 23.0 23 0 0 0 0 0

Coaching career

San Francisco 49ers

On February 28, 2017, Ryans was hired by the San Francisco 49ers as a defensive quality control coach.[31] In 2018, he was promoted to inside linebackers coach.[32] On January 18, 2021, Ryans was promoted to defensive coordinator following the departure of Robert Saleh, who left to become the head coach of the New York Jets.[33][34]

Following a successful postseason for the 49ers defense, Ryans was interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at the Minnesota Vikings, but declined a second interview and opted to remain with the 49ers.[35] In 2022, Ryans' unit finished as the top defense in football by DVOA, second by weighted DVOA, fifth against the pass, and second against the rush.[36] As a result, Ryans was named as the PFWA Assistant Coach of the Year.[37]

Houston Texans

On January 31, 2023, Ryans was hired as head coach of the Houston Texans, the same franchise he originally started his professional NFL career for, after signing a six-year contract.[38] Ryans was the third head coach hired in the last three offseasons by the Texans.[39]

In 2023, Ryans's Texans started the season by losing their first two games.[40] However, under his leadership, the team clinched the AFC South and made the playoffs by going 10–5 in their last 15 games. They finished with a final record of 10–7, which marked the team's best finish since 2019 and its first division title since 2019.[41] The Texans defeated the Cleveland Browns by a score of a 45–14 during Wild Card Weekend, which marked their first playoff win since 2019, and just the franchise’s third playoff victory since 2013.[42]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
HOU 2023 10 7 0 .588 1st in AFC South 1 1 .500 Lost to Baltimore Ravens in AFC Divisional Game
Total 10 7 0 .588 1 1 .500

Personal life

Ryans and his wife, Jamila, have three children.[43][44]

References

  1. ^ Kubena, Brooks (February 5, 2023). "Understanding why DeMeco Ryans returned to the Texans". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  2. ^ Inabinett, Mark (January 25, 2019). "DeMeco Ryans still carrying Alabama's love for football". AL.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  3. ^ "Inside linebackers". Rivals100. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  4. ^ "DeMeco Ryans, Jess Lanier , Inside Linebacker". 247Sports. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  5. ^ Zenor, John (November 1, 2005). "Alabama's quiet star". Gadsden Times. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  6. ^ Dollins, Aidan (January 31, 2023). "DeMeco Ryans Named Houston Texans Head Coach". Tide 100.9. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  7. ^ "Alabama's Ryans named SEC's top defender". The Tuscaloosa News. December 5, 2005. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  8. ^ McCarter, Mark (June 5, 2007). "DeMeco Ryans named ASWA pro athlete of year". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  9. ^ "Ronnie Lott Trophy Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  10. ^ "Consensus All-America Teams (2000-2009)". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  11. ^ "DeMeco Ryans Honored as NCAA Top VIII Winner". University of Alabama Athletics. January 16, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  12. ^ "DeMeco Ryans, Alabama, 2006 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  13. ^ "DeMeco Ryans, Combine Results, OLB - Alabama". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  14. ^ "DeMeco Ryans 2006 NFL Draft Profile". insider.espn.com. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  15. ^ "2006 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  16. ^ "Alabama Drafted Players/Alumni". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
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  18. ^ "2006 NFL Week 13 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  19. ^ "2006 NFL Defense". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  20. ^ "AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Winners". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  21. ^ "2006 NFL All-Rookie Team". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
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  25. ^ Bowen, Les (May 24, 2012). "Linebacker DeMeco Ryans mans the middle for the Eagles". Philly.com. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  26. ^ "2012 Philadelphia Eagles Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees, Injury Reports". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  27. ^ "2013 Philadelphia Eagles Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees, Injury Reports". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  28. ^ "Wild Card - New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles - January 4th, 2014". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  29. ^ Florio, Mike (November 2, 2014). "DeMeco Ryans suffers Achilles injury". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  30. ^ Patra, Kevin (February 24, 2016). "Philadelphia Eagles cut veteran LB DeMeco Ryans". NFL.com. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  31. ^ Montero, Jake (February 28, 2018). "John Lynch makes first public comments following Foster's latest arrest". KNBR-AM. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  32. ^ Heath, Jon (January 10, 2023). "DeMeco Ryans has quickly risen from Pro Bowl player to hot head coach candidate". Broncos Wire. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  33. ^ "49ers Announce Coaching Promotions". 49ers.com. January 18, 2021. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  34. ^ Martin, Keiana (January 18, 2021). "5 Things to Know About 49ers New Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans". 49ers.com. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  35. ^ Chan, Jennifer Lee (February 2, 2022). "Shanahan proud of Ryans for declining second Vikings interview". NBC Sports Bay Area. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  36. ^ "2022 Team DVOA Ratings: Defense | Football Outsiders". www.footballoutsiders.com. Retrieved January 19, 2023.
  37. ^ "PFWA Assistant Coach of the Year Winners". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  38. ^ Lane, Mark (January 31, 2023). "Houston Texans gave DeMeco Ryans 6-year contract". Texans Wire. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  39. ^ "Houston Texans hire DeMeco Ryans as Head Coach". Houston Texans. January 31, 2023. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  40. ^ "Richardson scores twice before leaving with concussion as Colts beat Texans 31-20". ESPN. September 17, 2023. Retrieved January 14, 2024.
  41. ^ "2023 Houston Texans Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees, Injury Reports". ESPN. Retrieved January 14, 2024.
  42. ^ "Stroud becomes youngest QB to win a playoff game as Texans rout Browns 45-14". ESPN. January 13, 2024. Retrieved January 14, 2024.
  43. ^ McClain, John (February 1, 2023). "McClain: Texans, DeMeco Ryans fit like a glove". Audacy. Retrieved February 2, 2023.
  44. ^ Sidhu, Deepi (January 31, 2023). "9 things to know about Texans Head Coach DeMeco Ryans". Houston Texans. Retrieved February 1, 2023.