Over a week has passed since the bombshell announcement of former Houston Texans star linebacker DeMeco Ryans as head coach. The hire has drawn rave reviews around the NFL, and also from Texans legends such as J.J. Watt and Andre Johnson. For the first time in the past few years, there is optimism about the Texans’ future. The excitement is palpable, and the hiring will reverberate throughout the rest of the offseason. The next step for coach Ryans though is to start building his staff. When it comes to the hiring process, the coach is quoted as saying:
"We want experienced coaches,” Ryans said. “We want some coaches with not so much experience. You want a diverse staff because players learn differently. We want them to be able to present things in a different way to different players, to make sure that when they step on the field Sunday, there are clear minds. They’re not thinking, they’re playing as fast as possible."
As well as:
"If you can connect with players, then you can lead players,” Ryans said. “But if you can’t connect, then there’s no way you can coach those guys. We want guys who are bringing energy and doing it in a fun way. We want guys who are truly committed to working together. No egos allowed. No energy vampires allowed. We want a positive culture. We’re going to work together to make sure we’re giving the players everything they need."
Keeping this in mind, here are the hires so far:
Matt Burke, Defensive Coordinator
- Burke was most recently the defensive line coach for the Arizona Cardinals and brings over 15 years of NFL experience in various defensive coaching positions. In terms of style and defensive philosophy, familiarity is there as both he and coach Ryans are part of Robert Saleh’s coaching tree.
Stephen Adegoke, Safeties Coach
- A young coach, this will be only his second season in the NFL, and he previously held the position of Defensive Quality Control Coach in San Francisco. Obviously, DeMeco Ryans saw something to hire him so quickly.
Frank Ross, Special Teams Coordinator (retained)
- Ross will return for a third year, under his third different head coach. A testament to his value, he sticks around. His unit performed very well during an extremely difficult season.
Nick Kray, Chief of Staff
- The Chief of Staff for the 49ers this past season (also the boombox guy), he has spent the past six years in San Francisco. The other five were in the position of Administrative Assistant to the Head Coach.
Mike Eubanks, Strength and Conditioning Coach (retained)
- Another holdover from previous regimes, Eubanks has been working for the Texans since 2018.
- Slowik is another coach from San Francisco to join DeMeco Ryans staff in Houston. He had been with the 49ers since 2017, working as a defensive quality control coach, offensive assistant, and passing game specialist. The strong play of both Jimmy Garoppolo and Brock Purdy this season leads to plenty of excitement behind this hire.
- A former NFL quarterback, Johnson started his coaching career in San Francisco with DeMeco Ryans in 2017. Johnson was a part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship with the 49ers in 2017 and the Indianapolis Colts in 2019. He served as an offensive quality control coach for Indianapolis for 2020-2021 and was an assistant quarterbacks coach in Minnesota this past season.
The following hires were reported per Aaron Wilson of KPRC-TV:
Ben McDaniel, Receivers Coach & Passing Game Coordinator (retained)
Others to interview for positions are:
- Troy Walters, Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receivers Coach
- Kliff Kingsbury, former Arizona Cardinals Head Coach
- Nick Caley, New England Patriots Tight Ends Coach (hired by the Rams to the same role)
- Marquand Manuel, New York Jets Safties Coach
- Chris Harris, Washington Commanders Defensive Backs Coach
As the process continues and the hiring announcements continue to trickle out, Toro Times will continue to provide updates. At the moment, we can most certainly say the future is looking very bright in Houston. Man is it nice to be saying that for a change.