It's no surprise that now-Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans is pulling for his former team, the 49ers, in Super Bowl 58.
One of the more noticeable elements the San Francisco 49ers currently possess under the leadership tandem of head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch is that the team culture extends far beyond the boundaries of Levi's Stadium and the team's facilities.
In fact, when players and coaches ultimately depart the organization, the reverence they feel back toward the Niners almost never wanes.
Case in point, one can look at current Tennessee Titans linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair's interactions with San Francisco's crop of linebackers just ahead of the NFC title game late last January. It's a perfect example of that chemistry and culture perpetuating beyond just donning the red and gold:
Al-Shaair's former position coach and defensive coordinator with the 49ers, now-Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans, also feels that culture despite having left the organization last offseason.
DeMeco Ryans fully rooting for 49ers to win Super Bowl 58
Ryans was instrumental in helping turn around what had been a downtrodden Texans squad in his first year as head coach.
But he still has love for the Niners, who are set to battle the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 58 on Feb. 11.
Speaking with NBC Spots Bay Area just days before the Super Bowl, Ryans made it clear he's openly pulling for Shanahan, Lynch and Co. to land that elusive sixth Lombardi Trophy.
"Still watching the Niners," Ryans admitted. "A lot of love and appreciation for the organization first off, then to Kyle for giving me the opportunity to start my coaching career there. And so many great players there I had the opportunity to work with. Fred [Warner], Dre [Greenlaw].
"I'm pulling for them. This is their year."
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Ryans took over as defensive coordinator in the 2021 season when now-New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh vacated the role after 2020.
After two of his own years at San Francisco's defensive helm, a stretch that oversaw the 49ers defense turning into one of the league's most vaunted units, Ryans is ultimately hoping Houstin winds up having a similar trajectory toward the top of the NFL ranks.
Meanwhile, Ryans is hoping the Niners finally finish it all.
"I think they're destined to get it done this year," Ryans concluded.
The Faithful agree with you, DeMeco.