DeMeco Ryans outlines how he wants to construct the Texans’ roster

The Houston Texans are going to be a young team with DeMeco Ryans.

The Texans, who have 12 picks in the 2023 NFL draft, may be adding a bevy of talent from the college ranks where the players were stars. Coming to the NFL and playing for one of the moribund franchises of the past few seasons, such players may have more humbling introductions to pro football.

Texans coach DeMeco Ryans met with reporters March 27 in Phoenix at the NFL owners meetings. The 38-year-old outlined just what he is looking for as the Texans construct their roster and prepare for the 2023 campaign.

Finding unselfish players


(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

“You build it with having guys come in who are unselfish and guys just understanding that no one is guaranteed anything, but you build it with a team-first mindset,” Ryans said. “If everyone comes in and understands that if you were the top guy on your team, you may have to play special teams, or do you have that mindset that you’re not an ego driven person to where it’s not about you, it’s about the team. We can work with guys that way.”

Check your ego

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Ryans had a player with the San Francisco 49ers in linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair who recorded 102 combined tackles in 2021, his third year in the NFL after entering as an undrafted free agent.

Al-Shaair went from being a key special teams contributor his first two seasons to finally excelling on defense in year three.

“That’s kind of who Azeez was,” said Ryans. “He wasn’t a big ego guy, he just played his role and he contributed and there were significant snaps that helped us win games. We need as many guys as we can get with the right mindset who are not ego driven guys.”

Willingness to play wherever for as many snaps as needed

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

“That’s part of the process of as you’re evaluating and just seeing what type of teammates these guys are,” Ryans said. “Everybody evaluates the tape, and we see the player, but the most important part to me is who are these players as people off the field. How do their teammates view them off of the field? You have to know the person that you’re getting as well as the player that you’re getting. That allows you to build a team in a manner of, ‘Coach, I will play special teams, I will just play base, whatever you need me to do, I’ll just get in and block or whatever you need me to do. I’m going to be unselfish enough to do that for the team.’”

The San Francisco model

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“That’s how the great teams build it and that’s how I’ve seen it done in San Francisco,” said Ryans. “It was just a ton of hungry guys who were excited to be a part of something that’s bigger than themselves, and that’s what I want in Houston. I want guys who are hungry to come and change what’s been happening in Houston. We haven’t won in Houston, so I want guys who are just dedicated, who are coming in, who are hungry to just help out wherever it needs, whether it’s blocking, whether it’s playing special teams, whether it’s 10 snaps a game. I want guys who want to come and change for the city of H-town. I want guys who want to come out and just give it their all to show our fan base, give them something to cheer for, to give them something to be excited about.”

The team above any player, any coach


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“It’s not about the player,” Ryans said. “That’s what I tell our guys, too. For me as a head coach, it’s my mindset. It’s not about me. I don’t want the spotlight. It’s not about me. It’s about making sure we build this team the right way and making sure these guys get all the accolades, everything that comes when we play together. You may not be the star right now, but you can play a significant role.”

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire