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Ryans: Picking Texans over Broncos was easy decision

Bob Levey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

DeMeco Ryans shared that choosing the Houston Texans head coaching job over the Denver Broncos was a "no-brainer."

"When it came down to it, there's no greater place I wanted to be than H-Town," he said Thursday during his introductory press conference, according to the Houston Chronicle's Brooks Kubena.

Ryans, who previously served as the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, drew interest from several clubs, including the Broncos, who reportedly made a late pitch to land the coveted candidate.

Denver opted to acquire former Super Bowl-winning coach Sean Payton from the New Orleans Saints in exchange for draft picks.

Ryans insisted that becoming the Texans' bench boss is his "dream job." He highlighted the opportunity to return to a franchise where he suited up as a player for six seasons, was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2006, and earned two Pro Bowl nods.

"It's a dream job because we can win here," he added.

Houston concluded a three-week search for its next sideline leader after dismissing Lovie Smith following a 3-13-1 campaign, marking the second consecutive year the team fired its coach. The Texans relieved David Culley of his duty following a 4-13 record in 2021.

Ryans, who climbed up the coaching ladder under Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco, became a hot commodity for his resume as a defensive play-caller. The Niners allowed the fewest points (16.3) and yards (300.6) per contest last season.

The 38-year-old will be tasked with improving a roster that surrendered a league-high 170.2 rushing yards per game. Ryans is seeking both "precision" and "balance" as the club searches for an offensive coordinator.

"Everything about our offense, we want to be adaptable to the players we have," he said.

Owner Cal McNair believes adding a familiar face will result in different circumstances despite another offseason coaching hire. He also noted the cap space and draft capital the Texans possess, owning the No. 2 and No. 12 overall picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Houston has not made a playoff appearance since winning the AFC South in 2019 under then-coach Bill O'Brien.

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