Texans’ DeMeco Ryans says rookie Brian Cushing made him want to be a coach
DeMeco Ryans has a list of individuals he can thank for helping him become the Houston Texans coach, and one of them is Brian Cushing.
The former 2009 first-round linebacker was the impetus for Ryans wanting to get involved in coaching while he was with the Texans.
“When I first thought about coaching, it was while I was playing,” Ryans said. “While I played, I was always interested into the development and the delivery of people around me. When I saw young Brian Cushing coming in as a rookie and being able to work with him and to help him alongside me, I wanted to make sure that Brian was the best that he could be because I knew if I poured into him everything that I knew and I helped him, if he was playing his best, I was playing my best, and we all played our best, then I knew we would deliver wins.”
The development of Cushing paid off as the USC product generated 133 combined tackles, 4.0 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, 12 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, four interceptions, 10 pass breakups, and a safety in his 16 starts as a rookie. Cushing earned a Pro Bowl and was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Cushing wasn’t the only young linebacker that Ryans mentored in his career, as Jordan Hicks was another such product with the Philadelphia Eagles, where Ryans closed out his career from 2012-15.
“The reason I got into coaching was to help players,” said Ryans. “That’s the only reason I got into coaching. I was able to get that opportunity out in San Francisco after playing.”
Kyle Shanahan, who was on the Texans’ staff in a variety of capacities from 2006-09, hired Ryans as a defensive quality control coach in 2017, Shanahan’s first season with the 49ers. It was Ryans’ first coaching gig after being off football for a year.
Said Ryans: “I sat out for a year, and I was able to go out there, and it was truly about just helping others. That’s what I want to do here with our guys is just developing our young men, developing the players to be the best players they can be on the field, but also I want to develop men to be the best men off the field. Develop great husbands, great fathers, great community men. That’s what coaching is to me. It’s about the development and delivery of men.”
Ultimately Ryans wants to deliver to Houston its first Super Bowl win.
“We want to develop a great team here that we can deliver wins to the city of Houston,” Ryans said. “We want to deliver a championship here to the city of Houston, and that’s what it will be about.”
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