July 22, 2024

Texans HC DeMeco Ryans closes book on successful debut season

DeMeco Ryans wants it known he has closed the book on his successful debut season serving as Houston Texans head coach.

“The most exciting thing, what I love about the NFL is it doesn’t matter what happened last year,” Ryans said during an interview for Monday’s edition of NFL Network’s “The Insiders” program, as shared by Kevin Patra of the league’s website. “You get to hit reset. To start back from ground zero, I love that, going back to our day one fundamentals, installs, and seeing guys truly grow and seeing how far we can get before the Hall of Fame Game, see our young players get better and compete against each other.”

The Texans will face the Chicago Bears in the Hall of Fame Game that kicks off the NFL’s preseason on Aug. 1.

Ryans’ 2023 Texans accumulated a regular-season record of 10-7 en route to winning the AFC South division title. Houston then notched a 45-14 wild-card playoff victory over the Cleveland Browns before the Texans lost 34-10 at the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the postseason tournament.

Ryans said after the Texans acquired big names such as wide receiver Stefon Diggs, defensive end Danielle Hunter, running back Joe Mixon and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair this offseason that he wants his club “always hunting.” 

That hunt involves making sure players who were with Houston last season such as quarterback C.J. Stroud and defensive end Will Anderson Jr., both Rookie of the Year Award winners, are finished taking victory laps regarding what they previously accomplished.

“People talk about how exciting of a year it was, but I throw up a stat to our guys this offseason, like, ‘Look, I know we won some games, but guys, look, we had 10 games within one score, and these games were down to the wire and we had to find a way at the end,'” Ryans told NFL Network’s Rhett Lewis. “… So I just always remind them, like, ‘Hey, we didn’t just blow everybody out.’ Those games can go either way, and you have to continue to prepare that way coming into this new season. It’s not just going to happen again.”

As of Monday afternoon, DraftKings Sportsbook listed the Texans fifth among the betting favorites at +850 odds to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LIX this coming February. Ryans’ team must now go from exceeding low expectations to proving it wasn’t a one-hit wonder.