DeMeco Ryans held his first press conference as the head coach of the Houston Texans on Thursday, alongside Chair and CEO Cal McNair and General Manager Nick Caserio. With the large team auditorium filled to capacity with current and former players, Bun-B, Trae tha Truth and many others, Ryans addressed a number of topics.
Here's what you need to know:
1. Houston was always No. 1 for DeMeco Ryans
Ryans described the feeling as "surreal" to return to the team that drafted him in 2006 becoming the sixth head coach in franchise history. Houston was his first choice, according to Ryans, despite the number of other teams that had requested interviews.
"I'm thankful for the Denver Broncos and we had great interviews there, great people there," Ryans said. "But when it came down to it, there is no place I wanted to be any more than H-Town. It was an easy pick for me. It was a no-brainer to be here, be home. It was a no-brainer. It wasn't a difficult decision at all. It was very easy."
After his first Texans interview via Zoom, Ryans told Caserio and McNair that this was his "dream job" and "let's make it happen."
2. Ryans impressed McNair and Caserio
For McNair and Caserio, the feeling was mutual. The two knew that Ryans was their guy immediately after that first Zoom interview, just days before the 49ers Divisional playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys.
"What do we like? Everything," Caserio said about Ryans.
During the interview process, Caserio said there were eight-to-ten different characteristics or criteria they were seeking in a head coach.
"Part of it's going to be learn along the way, but when we talk about leadership, you talk about strategy, you talk about tactician, you talk about the ability to connect and lead people, you start to put all those things together," Caserio said. "We got off the call. I mean, we all kind of looked at each other like, holy cow, let's go play football tomorrow, but it wasn't a facade. It was just that's who DeMeco is as a person and a man. I think that resonated with us."
3. Coaching staff
The next step for Ryans will be to assemble his coaching staff. While he didn't mention any specific names, he did outline some of the key characteristics in his assistant coaches, namely diversity. Ryans wants coaches with different levels of experience and teaching styles but he does expect to bring his signature style of energy, fun and teaching without ego.
4. Vision on offense
Ryans, who served as the 49ers defensive coach for the past two seasons, addressed his vision for the Texans offense. He has played for offensive minds like Gary Kubiak, Andy Reid, Chip Kelly and learned from Kyle Shanahan.
"How I envision the offense looking, right, we want to play with precision," Ryans said. "We want to play with effort. We want to play with physicality. We want to own the line of scrimmage. We want to establish the run-game first, but we want to be balanced, right? We want to operate with play-action pass."
Most importantly, Ryans said the goal was to have balance and play to the strengths of the players. This past season, the 49ers started three different quarterbacks en route to their NFC Championship appearance.
5. Calling plays on defense?
Ryans called plays on defense in San Francisco and could continue to do so as head coach. However, he may also defer play-calling to his defensive coordinator.
"When it comes to the calling plays, we're still working through that," Ryans said. "Whether I'll call plays or not, I haven't made that decision yet."