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the heart of it was outside linebacker DeMeco Ryans. Finishing his senior year at Alabama with 76 tackles and 9.5 tackles for a loss, Ryans was the first pick in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft, picked up by the Houston Texans. After a huge showing in the preseason, the Texans moved him into the middle linebacker position, where he then started every game of the regular season. Ryans made an immediate impact on the Texan’s defense, which had been struggling for years. In his first game alone, he recorded 12 solo tackles, a league high. In fact, for most of the 2006 season, he led the entire team in tackles, eventually winning the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award. He finished the year with 155 tackles. After another dominating performance in 2007 in which he led the team in tackles for a second year in a row, DeMeco Ryans was named the starting linebacker for the 2008 Pro Bowl. Ryans always credited his preparedness for the NFL to former Alabama defensive coordinator Joe Kines. In an interview with Bama Magazine in 2006, he told the publication, “Coach Joe Kines did a good job of preparing me, technique wise. The linebacker position is all about learning how to run a defense and learning all about defense. [Kines] did a great job of teaching me.” Ryans is reported to have signed a six-year $48 million contract extension through the 2015 season, making him one of the highest paid linebackers in the league. Displaying the same leadership he showed throughout his career with Alabama, Ryans is also the defensive captain on the Houston Texans’ squad, and has been calling the signals from the inside linebacker position since his rookie season. He was named to a second Pro Bowl in 2010 as his contributions to the team led the Texans to their first winning season at 9-7. Ryans has made over 100 tackles in each season of his NFL career, and seems to be well on his way to another as he has recorded 47 total tackles just five games into the regular season.

In his first game alone, he recorded 12 solo tackles, a league high.

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Touchdown Alabama Magazine - Tennessee 2010  

Touchdown Alabama Magazine - Tennessee 2010

Touchdown Alabama Magazine - Tennessee 2010  

Touchdown Alabama Magazine - Tennessee 2010

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