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Texans DC Matt Burke 'appreciative' for DeMeco Ryans' trust to run the defense

Texans Wire logo Texans Wire 3/9/2023 Mark Lane
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Matt Burke didn’t know DeMeco Ryans from Adam.

Well, from Robert Saleh at least.

Burke was once the “game management coach” for the 2021 New York Jets in the first season under Saleh, who was the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator from 2017-20. Ryans was on the 49ers’ coaching staff in a variety of defensive roles from 2017-22.

For Burke to be the defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans’ defense in the first year with Ryans, it indicates the level of trust that the rookie coach has in his equally inexperienced lieutenant.

“I’m extremely appreciative for the opportunity from Meco (Ryans),” Burke said March 9. “I’m excited to get to work with him. You guys know, the through line with him from his playing time here and everything else, he’s a winner and just his approach has been impeccable from player, coach, everything. Again, I’m here to serve him and what he wants.”

One of the ways that Burke could ease the burden for Ryans would be to take over the play-calling on defense. Incidentally the Texans’ coach last season, Lovie Smith, doubled up as the defensive play-caller. Any such repeat would be coincidental and not a directive from the front office.

Burke, 46, is willing to help Ryans in whatever manner possible — so long as Ryans is able to be an effective coach.

Said Burke: “He’s got a lot on his plate as a head coach and whatever I can do to help him ease the burden, that’s kind of my role. I’m thankful just for the opportunity to get to work with him and again as we grow in our relationship in the first time we get to work together and start sharing ideas and start building it up together. It’s cool. I’ve loved having him in the building.”

Ryans has taken an active part inside NRG Stadium sitting in on the defensive meetings as the coaching staff overviews their defensive scheme.

“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity for us to sort of learn from each other,” said Burke. “Again, I’m here to help him any way he needs me to help him. If that’s filling up water bottles, I’ll do that for him too.”


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