How Texans believe DeMeco Ryans’ 49ers tenure can help turn team around

Ryans’ 49ers leadership key in turning around struggling Texans originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

DeMeco Ryans and the Houston Texans knew that a reunion would only be a matter of time.

However, Texans general manager Nick Caserio and CEO Cal McNair identified what truly stood out to them while they interviewed the former 49ers defensive coordinator for Houston's then-vacant head-coaching position.

"... Before we went into this, we kind of had 8-10 different characteristics or traits or criteria that are important," Caserio told reporters during Ryans' introductory press conference on Thursday. "And there's so many things that go into being a great head coach and part of it is going to be learned along the way, but we talk about leadership, we talk about strategy, we talk about tactician, we talk about the ability to connect and lead people, you start to put all those things together.

"It wasn't a facade -- that's just who DeMeco is as a person and a man. And I think that resonated with us ... but in the end, all signs led back to DeMeco, which is why we're sitting in this room with everybody today."

McNair went even further to describe what endeared him and Caserio to Ryans during the interview process.

"You can see how impressive he is," McNair said. "This has been in him a long time. When we drafted him in '06, he took over the defense, stepped into the middle, called the plays, he was captain, and they called him 'Cap.'

"So he's been a leader for a long, long time and you see it here tonight, we saw it on our calls -- it was very evident."

Just two days after the 49ers' 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, the Texans hired Ryans to a six-year contract to be the franchise's sixth head coach.

Many around the 49ers organization lauded Ryans' ability to connect with his players and get the most out of them, which is why many pundits knew he would make for a "great" head coach.

Caserio watched Ryans' impact in San Francisco from afar and noted how important it was for the Texans to hire a head coach that can teach, lead, connect and develop his players.

"So when you look at that criteria, that DeMeco believes in those principles so when we kind of look at our team, those are things that are going to be important," Caserio said. "... So that's what football's about and what you have to figure out a way is how do we accentuate the strengths, get the most out of our players, and there's a multitude of examples that DeMeco has had experience with in San Francisco and you see it tangibly on the field."

McNair shared Caserio's sentiment, stating that Ryans "embraces" the challenge of developing players and getting the best out of them, and is looking forward to the Texans' new head coach doing the same in Houston.

RELATED: How 49ers drafting Mitchell taught Ryans valuable coaching lesson

Though the 49ers and their fans will miss Ryans' presence on the sidelines next season, they have to be happy to see the 38-year-old return to the team that drafted him.

And the Texans are hoping the success he had in the Bay Area follows him to Houston.

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