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Jonathan Gannon And DeMeco Ryans Top 2 Contenders For Texans Coach?

After the first round of interviews, the Houston Texans are high on both Jonathan Gannon and DeMeco Ryans for their head coaching vacancy.

HOUSTON — Could the winner of the NFC Championship game determine the next head coach of the Houston Texans?

According to Sports Illustrated, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon are the top contenders for the Texans' head coaching vacancy.

Both defensive coordinators will go head-to-head during the NFC Championship title game at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday afternoon.

Regardless of who the Texans hire as their sixth head coach in franchise history, both candidates have the potential to enhance Houston's defense which finished near the bottom of all statistical categories.

Gannon was a finalist to take the helm as the Texans' next head coach last year, and he appears to be a favorite again. Following another season as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles, Gannon has an even stronger candidacy in 2023. 

He orchestrated a defense that held their opponents to an average of 301.5 yards and 20.2 points during the 2022 campaign.

But before a "lengthy and very positive" interview Friday evening, Ryans elevated the 49ers into one of the best defensive teams in the league. During the regular season, the 49ers recorded the second-most takeaways (30) while giving up an average of 16.3 points. 

Out of eight candidates the Texans interviewed, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson recently withdrew his name from the pool. 

Former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton is likely another candidate out of the running for the Texans, given a scheduled second interview with the Denver Broncos.

You can follow Coty M. Davis on Twitter at @CotyDavis_24

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