How time flies.
The new look Houston Texans have already concluded their three preseason game stretch with a 2-1 record. Many new faces have been shown along new schemes and locker room culture. With the display of almost a new team entirely, there have been some very noteworthy takeaways as Week 1 approaches.
DeMeco Ryans is a PLAYERS Coach
To really nobody’s surprise, brand new Head Coach DeMeco Ryans has added a much needed spark plug to this organization. With the new youth movement taking over coaching searches, the general prediction was that Ryans would be able to relate to and jolt players being that he is fresh from playing career himself.
Ryans is a leader amongst men and brings that fiery intensity over from a dominant 49ers defense. Guys rally around him and play hard every single down. Going forward, it will be interesting to see DeMeco’s progression with preparation and strategy. As it stands now, he has implemented a hard nose culture already that is surely to be special for years to come.
C.J. Stroud Continues to Progress
C.J. Stroud has just been named the QB1 against Baltimore and there are many reasons why. Stroud is the highest QB selected by the Texans in a draft since David Carr in 2002. After leading FBS in touchdown passes for the past two seasons and finishing twice as a Heisman finalist, C.J. has expectations of leading the new era Texans.
He’s off to a hot start.
Stroud has come into the building and impressed since day 1. Nabbing playing time with the first team offense and improving weekly. He began preseason week 1 shaky and uncomfortable and has continued to improve himself ever since. Finishing the preseason 11/20 for 89 passing yards with one touchdown coming in the final week, Stroud has mounted the pressure onto his own shoulders and looks to be carrying that weight very well. He looks like a proper QB1 and it will be fun to watch his progression throughout his rookie year.
Tank Dell is a Spark Plug
Houston’s own, Tank Dell, has been all over the place this training camp and is establishing a name for himself in this offense. After two very prolific seasons at University of Houston, Dell enters a young WR room with a chance to be a prominent target. So far, so good.
Tank has been electric in his little game time, grabbing 5 receptions for 65 yards and a phenomenal touchdown catch his first game. Concluding his preseason with a shifty punt return for 26 yards. Dell has been a lightning bolt when he is on the field with the offense.
Expect his snap count to increase as the season ages. Stroud loves him as a target and he can be used in a variety of ways.
Will Anderson Terminates Offenses
The new defensive cornerstone has arrived.
Number 3 draft pick, Will Anderson, has looked every bit of what he is expected to be so far. He has been dominant in his limited game time while showing flashes of athleticism and power. Anderson looks to continue this offensive disruption as he is the favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year.
If Anderson progresses the way he should, the Texans will have a new star.
Kenyon Green Needs Time
Former Texas A&M standout and 15th overall pick Kenyon Green has struggled this camp. Green has been demoted to second team with Michael Deiter taking his place against the New Orleans Saints. Being only 22 and having the backing of the rest of the O-line, Green still has ample time to figure out his place and become consistent.
For now, he will need some time as the rest of the interior offensive line trends upwards. Kenyon Green will be a valuable asset sometime in the future with his upside.
Front 7 Will Be Tested
As it stands, the Texan’s roster is relatively young and experienced with tons of upside. Among the youngest of the units is the front seven. They are youthful yet scrappy and athletic.
Coach DeMeco must be licking his chops thinking about what he can do with this group. Until their full potential, they will be faced with some of the best running offenses in the NFL. The expectation is that they will make mistakes while showing great flashes.
Wide Receiver Room Does Not Have a Number 1…….Yet
It’s no secret that the receiving core is among the weakest units on the Texans. The group lacks a true number one target while it consists of veterans and inexperienced newcomers. Which is totally fine considering the new West Coast offensive approach that the team will take…for now.
As the season ages, a true number one will reveal himself and become Stroud’s go to target. Whether that be veteran Robert Woods or even 3rd year Nico Collins, one will be discovered.
Until then, expect some struggles with the passing attack.
Just Having Fun. Work Hard, Play Hard.
With the 2023 Houston Texans in full rebuild with many great pieces in place, the team knows to have fun while they work. This is a youthful group with what seems to be a great culture in place. Nobody has to play hero this season. The vibe seems to be “go out there to learn and have a good time” which is exactly what this season needs to be.
Just Have Fun.
With a full new season ahead, be sure to check back here at Apollohou.com for the best reads covering the Houston Texans.