Linebacker DeMeco Ryans!(/team/roster/demeco-ryans/98d8154e-4346-4cdf-ae75-0b244df4b3fb/ "DeMeco Ryans")!is no stranger to the turnaround of a franchise.
In Houston, Ryans was a key part of a Houston team that went 6-10 in his first season and eventually won the AFC South division title and a playoff game in his final season. The tides of change have swept through Philadelphia must faster as the Eagles reclaimed the NFC East in Ryans' second season with the team.
When the Eagles acquired Ryans in a March 2012 trade, his leadership was one of the key factors in making the move.
"Those are culture-setters when you have guys like that — great character, hard working ... You're talking about a really productive player and a really hard worker — smart football player as well," said general manager Howie Roseman.
On the day he was traded, Ryans explained how the Texans were able to build towards a winning program.
"It took us a while to get there, but once we had the core guys in place and we did what winning teams do," he said. "We practiced the way winning teams practice, and we went out about our ways the way winning teams do. You saw that come to light with us making the playoffs and us making a run on it."
Now that the Eagles are back in the playoffs, Ryans is singing a similar tune.
"I feel like we are continuing with our same approach, taking it one week at a time," he said on Wednesday. "If we keep out mindset there, taking it one week at a time, continuing to get better each week, then we'll be fine."
Ryans has been lauded as one of the catalysts in the Eagles' success, but he downplays his role as a leader.
"It starts with doing your job, doing things the right way," Ryans said. "If guys see you doing things the right way, they'll follow you."