LET’S GOOOOOOO," Watt quote-tweeted in response to ESPN's Adam Schefter post reporting the hiring on Tuesday (January 31). "You want to reenergize and reignite the incredible Houston fan base, this is a hell of a start!! Cannot wait to see what Meco does. One of the best teammates & leaders I’ve ever been around. #HTown."
Watt tweeted a photo of himself and Ryans from their lone season together in 2011 -- Watt's rookie season -- on Monday (January 30) amid reports that the former linebacker was being considered as a favorite to land the Texans' head coaching job.
The cryptic post was perceived by many as Watt either publicly campaigning for his former teammate or possibly knowing about a potential deal ahead of time.
Ryans spent the first six seasons of his NFL playing career with the Texans (2006-2011) after being selected at No. 33 overall in the second-round of the 2006 NFL Draft. The former University of Alabama standout found immediate success as the 2006 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year as well as being selected as a first-team All-Pro in 2007 and a two-time Pro Bowler in 2007 and 2009.
Ryans spent the final four seasons of his playing career with the Philadelphia Eagles (2012-2015) before initially being hired by the 49ers as the team's defensive quality control coach. The 38-year-old was promoted to inside linebackers coach in 2018 and defensive coordinator in 2021.
Ryans was reportedly considered for NFL head coaching jobs last offseason and reportedly rejected an offer from the Denver Broncos on Tuesday amid reports that he was being targeted for the Texans' vacancy. San Francisco will reportedly receive compensation from the Texans as part of Ryans' hiring, according to NFL Network Senior Insider Ian Rapoport.
"The #Texans and #49ers DC DeMeco Ryans have agreed to terms and he’ll be their new head coach, sources say. A homecoming for one of the franchise’s great leaders, as Houston gets its top choice. This will be announced today," Rapoport tweeted.
Watt, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and five-time first-team All-Pro selection, spent his first 10 seasons with the Texans before signing with the Arizona Cardinals as a free agent in 2021. The 33-year-old announced his decision to retire after his final home game on December 27, appearing in two more road games against the the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers during the final two weeks of the 2022 NFL season.