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NFL Rumors: 49ers' DeMeco Ryans Believed to Have 'Traction' in Texans HC Search

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 21, 2023

SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 13: Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans of the San Francisco 49ers on the field before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Levi's Stadium on November 13, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Chargers 22-16. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans could be an early favorite to become head coach of the Houston Texans, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler:

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

.<a href="https://twitter.com/SportsCenter?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SportsCenter</a> updates on DeMeco Ryans' busy 72 hours; what people around league are saying on Lamar, Carr; Brady/Raiders dynamic and dissecting Jordan Love's future in Green Bay. (With <a href="https://twitter.com/TheKimchiPapi?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@thekimchipapi</a>) <a href="https://t.co/9iy4U1Ht6f">pic.twitter.com/9iy4U1Ht6f</a>

"People around the league believe he has traction in Houston," Fowler said of Ryans. "He played six years there, was a great player, played alongside J.J. Watt and others, well-respected."

The 38-year-old is in high demand, however, having interviewed with the Texans and Denver Broncos this week. He also has interviews coming up with the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals, per Fowler.

Ryans is in his second season as the 49ers defensive coordinator, leading a unit that ranked No. 1 in the NFL in both yards and points allowed. The defensive consistency helped the squad end the regular season with 10 straight wins and a 13-4 record despite going through three different starting quarterbacks.

Last year, Ryan's defense ranked third in yards allowed and especially stepped up in the playoffs, shutting down the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers on the way to the NFC Championship Game.

It follows up an impressive 10-year NFL career the former linebacker spent with the Texans and Philadelphia Eagles. The 2006 second-round pick was the Defensive Rookie of the Year after totaling 156 tackles in his first season, adding two Pro Bowl selections during his time in Houston.

Ryans could be the person to turn things around for the Texans after a 3-13-1 season and a three-year stretch that has seen them win just 11 games in total.

Houston is seeking a new head coach for the third straight offseason after firing Bill O'Brien, David Culley and most recently, Lovie Smith.