San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is one of the Houston Texans’ targets to be the sixth full-time coach in team history.
The Texans would be going with another defensive-minded coach after having Lovie Smith lead the team in 2022.
If the Texans were to go with Ryans, linebacker Christian Harris would benefit from the hire.
Ryans, a former 2006 second-round pick from Alabama for the Texans, was a two-time Pro Bowler and earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Ryans knows how to play the position.
One of the 49ers’ best defenders who developed directly under Ryans’ tutelage was All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner. Ryans started as a defensive quality control coach in 2017 in Kyle Shanahan’s first season, but was moved to inside linebackers in 2018, Warner’s first season. The former 2018 third-round pick’s first All-Pro season was 2020, Ryan’s last as his position coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator.
Harris proved over the course of his rookie season to make gains with more playing time.
“It’s hard to just put a player out there and expect them to play at a certain level early on,” Smith said. “But, the more they play, the better they get, and I think that will be the case, not just for Christian Harris, with all of our guys.”
Harris had 74 combined tackles, six tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, 1.0 sacks, five pass breakups, a forced fumble, and an interception through 12 games, 11 of which he started.
There were two games where Harris played fewer than 55 defensive snaps: Week 7 at Las Vegas, his first game back from injured reserve, and Week 11 at Miami when an injury knocked him out of the game. In the other 10 games, Harris was a starter tasked with significant playing time.
If the Texans hired Ryans, he would know how to lay out a path for Harris to unlock his potential.
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Story originally appeared on Texans Wire