Texans coaching rumors: Latest news on Houston’s search for a head coach, including Jonathan Gannon and DeMeco Ryans

Jonathan Gannon

Another year fired another Texan head coach.

Houston made the decision to part ways with Lovie Smith on Sunday after he ended the season with a 3-13-1 record — the second-worst in the NFL. Only a last-second win over the Colts in Week 18 kept the franchise from securing the No. 1 pick overall in this year’s draft.

It continues a streak of three straight seasons in which the team has fired a head coach. The last man to stay on the job for more than a year was Bill O’Brien. David Culley was at the helm in 2021 but was also relieved of his duties at the end of the year after a 4-13 campaign.

MORE: Why did the Texans fire Lovie Smith?

Some fans are upset about the constant change. The pressure is mounting for GM Nick Caserio and the front office to find a long-term solution as the franchise enters another season of rebuilding.

The Sporting News follows the latest on the Texans’ search for a new head coach

Full List of Texans Coach Candidates, Interview Requests

The team requested interviews with each of the following five coaches:

Jonathan Gannon, Eagles defensive coordinator

The Texans have requested an interview with Gannon, who has overseen an impressive season for the Philadelphia defense. The unit has given up the second fewest yards per game in the NFL and averaged opposing teams to just 20.2 points per game. He previously served as defensive quality control coach for the Falcons and Titans and as defensive backs coach for the Vikings and Colts.

Shane Steinen

Shane Steichen, Eagles offensive coordinator

Houston’s interest in Philly employees doesn’t end with Gannon. They also requested an interview with Steichen, one of the masterminds behind the Eagles’ offensive win this year. He previously served as a defensive assistant, offensive quality control coach, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the Chargers and as an offensive quality control coach for the Browns.


Ben Johnson, Lions offensive coordinator

Johnson provided an impressive turnaround for Detroit’s offense this season as Dan Campbell’s OC. The Lions were fourth in the league in yards per game and fifth in the league in points per game that year. Johnson spent seven years in various offensive assistant coaching roles for the Dolphins from 2012-2018 before moving to Detroit, where he was promoted to the OC position this year after previously serving as an offensive quality control coach and tight ends coach was.

Johnson interviewed the Texans out loud on January 12 NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

MORE: Ranking the top 6 candidates to replace Lovie Smith

DeMeco Ryans

DeMeco Ryans, 49ers defensive coordinator

Ryans played as a linebacker for the Texans for six years between 2006 and 2011. In 2017, he entered the coaching world with the 49ers and quickly worked his way up to defensive coordinator. His defense in San Francisco has been nothing short of outstanding this season, leading the NFL in average yards allowed per game (300.6) and average points allowed per game (16.3).

Ejiro Evero, Broncos defense coordinator

Evero has bounced around the NFL as a coach, spending time with the Buccaneers, 49ers, Packers and Rams before landing as defensive coordinator with the Broncos this season. While the team hobbled to a 5-12 this season, it certainly wasn’t the defense’s fault, which gave away the seventh fewest yards to opposing teams this season (320.0 per game).

Evero is said to be interviewing Houston during the week of January 16th NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Mike Kafka, Giants offensive coordinator

A former journeyman QB, Kafka is a descendant of the Andy Reid coaching tree. After playing for Reid, Kafka joined the Chiefs as offensive quality control coach before rising to QB coach and passing game coordinator. In his first season with the Giants, Kafka took the Giants from the worst scoring team in the NFL to a top-15 team in points per game (21.5) during the regular season. He has also led an offense that has seen Saquon Barkley post a career-high 1,312 rushing yards and Daniel Jones his highest QB rating (92.5).

Thomas Brown, assistant head coach/tight ends coach for the Rams

The Texans have requested an interview with Brown, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, which is the first time he has received this coaching cycle. The 36-year-old was a sixth-round pick by Georgia in 2008 and played three seasons running back at the NFL level with the Falcons and Browns.

Brown has experience as a collegiate offensive coordinator in Miami (2016-18) and has been with the Rams since 2020. He has coached running backs and tight ends while serving in his role as assistant head coach so he might be ready to take the next step and manage a fledgling Texas team.

Sean Payton, former Saints head coach

As a late and perhaps surprising addition to the list, the Texans have an upcoming interview with former Saints coach Sean Payton. per Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football.

The Texans weren’t necessarily viewed as a desirable target for Payton, for whom the quarterback will be an important contributor. But it’s possible he’s looking to repeat his 2006 move to the Saints, which happened alongside Drew Brees. If he loves either CJ Stroud, Bryce Young, or both, Payton might consider going into a rebuild situation.

Dave Gallo

Dave Gallo is a pioneering sports analytics expert, renowned for his revolutionary work in AI-driven sports simulations, projections, and advanced statistical analysis. With a profound passion for sports and technology, he crafts cutting-edge computer models that accurately predict outcomes. Dave's game-changing insights have reshaped strategy, player evaluation, and decision-making across various sports. His dynamic presentations make complex analytics accessible and inspiring, ensuring his legacy as a visionary in sports analytics. Check out Dave's Pick Record.

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