DeMeco Ryans: You have to start back at ground zero and build yourself up

DeMeco Ryans has only been the Texans’ head coach for one season, but he had a long playing career and a run as an assistant with the 49ers that taught him an important lesson about moving from one year to the next.

Ryans said in an interview with NFL Network that his message to his team heading into the 2024 season has been that they can’t take what happened last year with them. Ryans said the Texans have to “hit reset” and make sure that they are prepared to take the same kind of advantage of opportunities that come their way this time around.

“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 said. “That doesn’t change. That’s the NFL. It’s about being smart, being confident in those crucial situations, like the last two minutes of a game. Can you go perform? Can you be clear-minded and go execute the details of your job to the highest level? That’s what it’ll come down to. 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. You have to start back over at ground zero and work your way back up.”

The Texans’ version of hitting reset this offseason involved acquiring players like wide receiver Stefon Diggs, edge rusher Danielle Hunter, and running back Joe Mixon to complement the core that helped them win the division last year. The influx of talent should help this summer’s building process, but, as Ryans made clear, the Texans aren’t guaranteed anything more than another bite at the apple.

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