San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is the favorite to become the next head coach of the Houston Texans, ESPN reported Sunday.
The report came out as the 49ers and Ryans' No. 1 defense prepared to play the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Ryans interviewed with the Texans on Jan. 20 but is not permitted to have a second interview until after Sunday's contest. He has also been linked to the head coaching vacancies with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.
Ryans' counterpart on Sunday, Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, is also considered a top contender to replace Lovie Smith. Smith was fired after just one season and a 3-13-1 record at the helm.
Ryans, 38, has spent the past two seasons as San Francisco's defensive coordinator. A former NFL linebacker, he joined the 49ers in 2017 as a defensive quality control assistant, then was the inside linebackers coach for three seasons.
The 49ers surrendered just 16.3 points and 300.6 yards per game during the regular season, both the top marks in the NFL.
--Field Level Media