J.J. Watt is one big fan of the Houston Texans’ reported hiring of former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans as the team’s next head coach.
Watt and Ryans were teammates for one season in Houston, but the former couldn’t be happier to see the direction his old team is heading in.
“LET’S GOOOOOOO!!!!!! You want to reenergize and reignite the incredible Houston fan base, this is a hell of a start!!” Watt wrote on Twitter after ESPN first reported the news. “Cannot wait to see what Meco does. One of the best teammates & leaders I’ve ever been around. #HTown”
Ryans and the Texans reportedly agreed to a six-year deal, the organization looking for stability after four coaches the past three seasons.
Bill O’Brien was fired during the 2020 campaign, and Romeo Crennel wasn’t retained after serving as the interim coach. David Culley, and most recently, Lovie Smith, had just one year each in 2021 and 2022, respectively, before parting ways with the organization.
During their three-week search, Ryans, who played six seasons with the Texans, making two Pro Bowls, was the fan favorite and became the front-runner for the job.
The Texans announced they completed a second interview with him Tuesday, but that seemed to be a formality with many expecting a deal to come soon. It was finalized just hours later.
Watt might have foreshadowed the report Tuesday after posting a picture on Twitter Monday of him and Ryans during their time with the Texans. With no caption on it, speculation began that Watt might even want in on Ryans’ coaching staff after he retired from playing this season.
The Denver Broncos reportedly wanted Ryans as their coach, trying to agree to terms with him on Tuesday before finalizing a deal with the New Orleans Saints to get Sean Payton instead.
Other than the Broncos, Ryans canceled interviews with the Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts for their head coaching gigs last Saturday because he wanted to focus on the NFC championship game, which the 49ers lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-7.
Ryans wasted no time leaping to his next coaching job, and he’ll be equipped with the No. 2 and No. 12 overall picks in this year’s NFL Draft as well as about $39 million in cap space.
He and general manager Nick Caserio hope they can turn around a franchise that hasn’t seen the playoffs since 2019. The Texans are 11-38-1 the past three seasons.
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