Nobody will tell you with a straight face that the Houston Texans have a legitimate chance to play in the Super Bowl in 2023 but they've most definitely exceeded expectations. Projected to get six wins in the regular season, they've already got three. This shouldn't come as a surprise though.
With team executive Jack Eastery no longer in the picture, general manager Nick Caserio was able to work his magic in the offseason without interference. Caserio's first order of business was to hire head coach DeMeco Ryans to replace Lovie Smith. He then proceeded to fill as many roster holes as possible. So far, most of the moves he made have paid off.
While there's plenty of football left this season, now feels like a good time to look at the reasons they've exceeded expectations.
3. DeMeco Ryans is the right coach to oversee the Texans rebuild
All things considered, Bill O'Brien wasn't a bad coach. He took Houston to the playoffs four times during his seven-year stint. The trouble began when he took over general manager duties. He left the roster devoid of talent and without draft ammo to acquire playmakers after a handful of puzzling trades. Not surprisingly, he got the boot in 2020. Unfortunately, it took the Texans a few tries before they found O'Brien's eventual replacement.
Dave Culley succeeded O'Brien but he only lasted one season. Houston then hired Lovie Smith but was also a one-and-done. To nobody's surprise, potential candidates for the Texans' opening were hesitant to interview for the job but eventually, alumnus DeMeco Ryans was hired.
Ryans joined the San Francisco 49ers as a defensive assistant in 2017 and quickly moved up the coaching ranks. By 2021, he had become the Niners' defensive coordinator and one of the hottest names among potential head coach candidates.
Right off the bat, Ryans has shown in Houston what makes him special. Besides excelling at getting the most out of his players, he can connect with them and adjust his message. Simply, you will be hard-pressed to find a player in the Texans' locker room who isn't willing to run through a brick wall for their head coach.