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2024 Houston Texans off-season thread


The Earl of Texas

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3 minutes ago, TonyTexas said:

Edit: They play the Chiefs on Saturday, December 21. Tough stretch towards the end of the season. 

Fuck!! KC and Baltimore back to back with just 5 days rest sucks. Also, we aren’t getting the Cowboys on Thanksgiving which sucks ass.

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13 minutes ago, Macklemore said:

Fuck!! KC and Baltimore back to back with just 5 days rest sucks. Also, we aren’t getting the Cowboys on Thanksgiving which sucks ass.

Plus I wouldn’t be surprised if that KC road game is in prime time. 

Edited by TonyTexas
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14 minutes ago, Jshep34 said:

Nfl sticking it texans . Brutal end of season. Curious if that's ever happened before. Team plays 2 division Champs and wild card in 11 days

It’s a brutal stretch, but given the choice I’d rather play that stretch at the end of the year than the beginning. Talk about controlling your playoff destiny…

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6 minutes ago, Updawg said:

True. I hope the team is ready to make that big of a step

Just win the division I hope then move on

I am a full on believer in CJ Stroud. He has all the physical tools but I believe the mental side is what makes him special. I've never been more impressed or confident in a player after one season in my life. Assuming he stays healthy, this season is going to be fucking NUTS. Can't wait. 

 

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The first case schedule means you really need to cake care of the divisional games, unless you're ready to beat the other returning #1s at a high clip

That 3 game stretch at the end of the season is rough. Need to go into that stretch with a comfortable lead in the division to where going 2-2 over the last four still wins it for you

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On 5/15/2024 at 12:00 PM, TonyTexas said:

Edit: They play the Chiefs on Saturday, December 21. Tough stretch towards the end of the season. 

Yeah, and if Longhorns don't win SEC, then they might also be playing on Dec 21st 

IMG_20240521_180643_kindlephoto-9927358.thumb.jpg.1f5df560760607d9d252ed69bf209627.jpg

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13 minutes ago, Seasick Sailor said:

Here's what it looks like:

Cap and trade was damn close. He had it at 3/$74.25M with $54M guaranteed. It came in at 3/$72.75M with $52M guaranteed. Regardless, I’m happy,  particularly with the absurdity of some of the recent WR contracts. 

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1 hour ago, TonyTexas said:

Cap and trade was damn close. He had it at 3/$74.25M with $54M guaranteed. It came in at 3/$72.75M with $52M guaranteed. Regardless, I’m happy,  particularly with the absurdity of some of the recent WR contracts. 

Great value and the length of the deal is perfect too when factoring our cap situation going forward. Wasn’t expecting to have Nico signed long term this offseason. The Texans are the best run team in this city. They’re what the Astros used to be.

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14 minutes ago, Harvdog said:

Nick Caserio is an amazing GM. Given where he started and where they currently stand?  When the Texans win the SB, he has to be royalty in Houston.  Bob McNair wanted him for years….now we know why.  

The Texans never had a good GM in their history before Caserio. The Texans have had an A+ offseason thanks to him. I love seeing a smart GM make moves and see the long term vision and plan come to fruition. That’s what made following the Astros rebuilding under Luhnow so much fun. Compare what Nick is doing to the current clown show with Crane, Bagwell and Dana.

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4 hours ago, TonyTexas said:

Cap and trade was damn close. He had it at 3/$74.25M with $54M guaranteed. It came in at 3/$72.75M with $52M guaranteed. Regardless, I’m happy,  particularly with the absurdity of some of the recent WR contracts. 

Probably the last big WR signing. I expect CJ to be the highest paid player in the NFL on his next deal. 

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4 hours ago, Macklemore said:

The Texans never had a good GM in their history before Caserio. The Texans have had an A+ offseason thanks to him. I love seeing a smart GM make moves and see the long term vision and plan come to fruition. That’s what made following the Astros rebuilding under Luhnow so much fun. Compare what Nick is doing to the current clown show with Crane, Bagwell and Dana.

It’s been a good offseason, but I wouldn’t give him an A+ after needlessly extending Joe Mixon and cutting years off Diggs’s contract. Time will tell if either or both moves to “make them happy” translates to above expected performance on the field. I think Diggs was a behavior risk before and after the contract change. And if it was about putting Diggs on a one year “prove it” deal, that is literally what we had with Mixon and now I’d put money on him mailing it in after getting the last decent size bag of his career. 

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After a turnaround season,
DeMeco Ryans has the Texans on
the rise
Dan Pompei
HOUSTON — The last of the Houston Texans takes a seat. There isn’t
much talk. Hoods are drawn low. Yawns go unconcealed.
For some, the morning meeting — a gathering of all players and coaches at 8 a.m. — comes unreasonably early. And then DeMeco Ryans walks to the front of the room wearing red, his favorite color.
“GREAT MORNING!” he says, opening eyes like a bugle playing “Reveille.” “GREAT MORNING!” he says again, with a smile as bright as the dawning sun.
It’s always a great morning with the second-year head coach of the Texans. It’s a great afternoon and a great evening, too.
“He has a lot of joy in his heart,” Texans general manager Nick Caserio says. “He loves what he does, and that emotion pours out and it’s sincere and it’s genuine.”
You can see it when he’s jacked up about a big play during a game, running and jumping down the sideline. You can also see it when it’s less expected.
If his infant daughter, Zuri, didn’t sleep well and Daddy was up a lot, it’s still a great morning. If the injury report from the trainer was ominous, it’s still a great morning. Even if the Texans have a tough loss and a
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turbulent plane ride home, it’s still a great morning.
“Man, life is great,” Ryans says. “I mean, come on, man, what is there to mope about and be down about? It’s a blessing to be here and enjoy the day.”
The way the Texans played in Ryans’ first year reflected his energy. After 38 losses over the previous three seasons, the Texans won 10 games and became the first team in NFL history to finish first in its division with a first-year head coach and rookie quarterback.
GO DEEPER
What did NFL learn about S2 after CJ Stroud? 'People in our league can't help themselves'
And yes, C.J. Stroud is special, but the turnaround was about more than the QB. Under Ryans, middle linebacker Christian Harris had a breakout year. And wide receiver Nico Collins, defensive end Jonathan Greenard and linebacker Blake Cashman were among the players who produced like never before. Plus, the Texans were climbing a greased pole. They made it to the divisional round of the playoffs despite tying the Jets with a league-high 19 players on injured reserve.
Ryans and Kevin Stefanski of the Browns tied with 165 points in the Associated Press coach of the year voting (Stefanski won with one more first-place vote than Ryans). In the Pro Football Writers of America voting, Ryans was the winner.
What voters saw was a stunning turnaround in the record. What his players saw was his ability to inspire.
“Everybody feeds off his energy,” Harris says. “It makes you want to go out there and play for a guy like that. I love it. I’ve had a lot of great
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coaches, but I think he’s definitely going to be one of the greats forever.”
For now, the focus is his second season, when the 39-year-old Ryans will face new challenges. There will be heightened expectations. Defenses will scheme for Stroud in new and diabolical ways.
But the Texans know they have a quarterback who can compete with any other. They have more confidence in their passing game after adding one of football’s most deft wide receivers in Stefon Diggs. Their running game has upgraded with Joe Mixon, who has rushed for more than 1,000 yards four times in six years. Their defense should take another step with free-agent signee Danielle Hunter, a four-time Pro Bowler. And they understand what the person at the front of the room can do.
In Houston, it is indeed a great morning.
When he was 12, Ryans stood in front of a room for the first time. It was the Bessemer 24th Street Church of Christ in Alabama. And Ryans was preaching.
His mother’s cousin, Joe Cash, was the church’s minister. Cash was an army veteran who showed Ryans what leadership looked like. “I had to preach on Thursday night, and it was like a young leadership class,” Ryans says.
Ryans’ youth coaches also saw something in him. In baseball, he was asked to play catcher. He had to tell pitchers what to throw and infielders how to align. In football, his first position was center, making checks and blocking adjustments. Then he moved to middle linebacker, where he was in charge of the defense.
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His leadership wasn’t just about telling teammates how to play. He told them how to act, too.
He was a team captain twice at Jess Lanier High School and once at Alabama, where he objected when teammates left tape from their ankles on the locker room floor. It’s no wonder they called him “Coach.” As a rookie with the Texans in 2006, he took over the defense before he buckled the chinstrap on an NFL helmet for the first time, earning another nickname: “Cap.”
Ryans was not technically a team captain as a rookie, but he was voted a captain in his five subsequent years with the team. When former teammates come around, they still call Ryans “Cap.” Co-workers have followed suit.
When the Texans drafted J.J. Watt in 2011, he was so impressed with how “Cap” operated that he bought a house on Bend Creek Lane in Pearland, directly across the street from Ryans’.
“Houston’s a gigantic area with so many different places you could live, but I assumed DeMeco did the right research and he knows what he’s doing,” Watt says
The future Hall of Famer is one of many former teammates who have reconnected with the Texans since Ryans became head coach.
“When they hired him, immediately — the alumni, the city, the fans — everybody was back on the train,” Watt says. “It was a no-brainer, especially amongst the alumni. Whatever you need, we’re here.”
For Watt, that meant offering to come out of retirement this season at 35. To be clear, after sitting out the 2023 season, Watt believes a comeback is a long shot, but he would consider an in-season return only for the Texans or Steelers, where he would play with his brother
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T.J.
“I’ve told DeMeco that for him, I would absolutely do that and it would be awesome,” Watt says.
These days, Ryans hones his leadership by reading. In the cabinet beside his desk are 15 books about leadership. Among the titles:
“Stay Positive: Encouraging Quotes and Messages to Fuel Your Life with Positive Energy”
“Row the Boat: A Never-Give-Up Approach to Lead with Enthusiasm and Optimism”
“The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy,” in which author Jon Gordon warns of “energy vampires”
During his playing days with the Texans, Ryans’ position coach was Johnny Holland, a 1987 second-round pick by Green Bay and an inductee to the Packers’ Hall of Fame. Holland taught Ryans about more than how to take on a pulling guard. He advised him on handling investments, buying a house, relationships and retirement.
“He was hard on us on the field, but he also invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner,” Ryans says. “All of it meant a lot to me.”
Schemes are important to Ryans, but not as important as dreams. He teaches players to close gaps while opening their hearts. Ryans focuses on the millimeters that make a difference in hand placement and the eye-blink moments that decide games. But he doesn’t lose sight of life beyond the game.
“Everything we’re doing is geared toward winning, but if I can help a young man outside of here — maybe it’s in a relationship with his wife or being a father — that’s something that can last a lifetime,” Ryans
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said. “I didn’t get into coaching for the wins and losses. ... I got into this to help these guys become better players and better men.”
When he was the 49ers defensive coordinator, one of his players was in a slump. The struggles were part of something bigger, however. The player admitted to Ryans that he was having problems with his significant other. Ryans gave him a book he had found beneficial: “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.”
A coach’s ability to connect is more important than ever. Ryans relates to his players partly because he was one of them, and not so long ago.
“The way his words hit the players’ ears is different,” Houston special teams coach Frank Ross says. “It’s young, and it definitely sounds like an ex-player who sat in their seats. He’ll never say, ‘I did it this way ...’ He’ll say, ‘I understand what you’re seeing and how hard that might be, but I’m not going to let you skid on the standard.'”
Ryans’ words have resonated with Stroud. Coach and quarterback found common ground shortly after the Texans selected Stroud with the second pick of the 2023 draft. Stroud asked Ryans about the book on his desk — “The 5-Minute Bible Study.” Ryans told him he reads it every morning before he starts work. They discussed the devotional he had read that day.
“That’s who I am,” he says. “Whether you like it or not, it’s me. And I truly believe that God has guided my steps and blessed me to be in the position I’m in. It’s not because of me and I’m so great. It’s his grace that has lined things up to allow me to be where I am today.”
Ryans was drawn to Stroud in pre-draft evaluations partly because Stroud had overcome. He wasn’t a silver-spoon college prospect; Stroud’s father was incarcerated when C.J. was 13. So Ryans knew he
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could handle adversity on the field.
Ryans tested Stroud in practice early in training camp when the offense was sluggish in getting plays off. “Hey,” Ryans yelled at his quarterback. “Pay attention to the play clock. You’ve got to speed it up.”
Stroud barked back at his coach. Then he threw for a first down on the next rep.
As Stroud proves himself, Ryans adjusts his approach to the nascent superstar, giving him the respect he earned. He borrows from Gary Kubiak, his first coach in the NFL, and says, “Everybody will be treated fairly, but everybody isn’t equal.”
Ryans tries to make every message positive. He tells his assistants to avoid demeaning players. Instead of “don’t do it that way,” it’s “do it this way.”
When Ryans assembled his staff, he paired a veteran coach with a younger coach at most positions so players could hear different perspectives. On Thursdays, defensive backs coach Dino Vasso leads the team meeting. It gives the players a fresh voice while also furthering Vasso’s development.
Ryans still looks like the tough, physical, Pro Bowl middle linebacker he once was. He weighs 250 pounds, his playing weight in the later stages of his career, and appears trim with a 38-inch waist. His arms look like they were inflated — or overinflated — by an air compressor. He never misses a workout; his assistants joke that they have an in-house replacement if they need a linebacker.
“He was out there on the scout team in practice today playing L5 on the kickoff team,” Texans defensive coordinator Matt Burke says. “I said, ‘Look at Meek — he looks like he can still go.'”
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Starting in 2006, Ryans was a standout in the middle of the Texans defense for six seasons, twice making the Pro Bowl. (Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)
When Ryans was in college, his defensive coordinator Joe Kines put him on the spot in front of the defense while watching tape.
“DeMeco,” he said. “What would you call in this situation?” After an uncomfortable pause, Ryans said, “I don’t know.”
He walked out of the meeting thinking he could never not know again. Ryans made it a point to be familiar not only with his responsibilities but also with the responsibilities of the 10 players around him, as well as with what offenses were trying to do to them.
Now, according to Watt, Ryans knows everything possible about every front, every pressure, every coverage and every offensive scheme. “He has an unbelievable grasp of every aspect of the game,” Watt says.
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On a third-quarter fourth-and-2 in the Texans’ playoff victory against the Browns last January, Ryans showed his tablet to Harris, who was mic’d up. “You just hang right there and play the quarterback,” Ryans told him. As soon as he snaps it, step in front of him. I’m telling you, telling you, telling you.”
Harris stepped in front of Harrison Bryant, intercepted Joe Flacco’s pass and brought it back for a touchdown.
“One thing I’ve always tried to do is anticipate what plays are coming,” Ryans says. “I saw how that game was going. I saw what they were doing with Flacco. With him being newer to their offense, I knew there were only a certain amount of plays they were running. I knew once we got that formation again, this quick-game concept was coming. I gave Christian the tip.”
Watt, who attended Ryans’ meetings the week before the Texans played the Steelers in Week 4 (a 30-6 victory), was unsurprised.
“What we saw in the Cleveland game is basically what all these meetings are like,” Watt says. “He’s telling the guys, ‘This is what’s going to happen. Just trust me and execute it, and we will be successful.’
“I was sitting there fascinated by it because he pulls up very specific plays from practice the day before and points out exactly what was good about it and what was bad. He can talk about it in such depth and knowledge — not just about where you’re supposed to be, but what’s actually going through the player’s head. And that’s a massive difference.”
When Ryans watches games on television, even old games, he runs through scenarios. Should they call a timeout? Go for it on fourth
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down? Try hurry up? Bring pressure? It helps him make his own game management decisions, most of which he tries to anticipate before games begin.
He recently showed up for Watt’s charity softball game and worked as well as played. In the dugout, Ryans peppered former Texans defensive tackle Antonio Smith with questions about what drills he found most beneficial, what he sees in certain alignments and footwork in various situations.
He approaches the draft the way he approaches a game, which is rare among coaches. Caserio estimates Ryans studied at least 150 prospects before the draft. His preparation, like his enthusiasm, is boundless.
“He wants to be hands-on with everything we’re doing here,” Burke says. “He works tirelessly.”
The morning meeting is wrapping up.
On the wall to the players’ right is the acronym in large red letters. Ryans wanted an inspirational slogan when he was hired to be the 49ers’ defensive coordinator. He asked his old Alabama teammate Todd Bates, now the co-defensive coordinator at Oklahoma, if he could think of anything.
Bates, who has a way with words, sent him a few ideas. One was S.W.A.R.M.: special work ethic and relentless mindset. “It fits perfectly in what I believe in for how we’re going to play and act,” Ryans says.
So he breaks down the meeting and yells, “Texans!” His players, fully awake now, shout, “Swarm!”
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As they file out, everyone knows what kind of morning it is. (Illustration: John Bradford / The Athletic; photos: Wesley Hitt, Sam
Hoddie / Getty Images)
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Reading this article gave me goosebumps. DeMeco’s intelligence and football IQ is off the charts as well as his ability to connect with players. The potential for Stroud and DeMeco together is limitless. Thank God for DeMeco Ryans. I hope he retires as Texans coach after winning us a couple of Super Bowls the next 2 decades.

Edited by Macklemore
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5 hours ago, Hate said:

Copy and paste, please.  I already have too many subscriptions.

Edited the post to include the article. I spoilered it since it’s a longcat of an article.

Reading this article gave me goosebumps. DeMeco’s intelligence and football IQ is off the charts as well as his ability to connect with players. The potential for Stroud and DeMeco together is limitless. Thank God for DeMeco Ryans. I hope he retires as Texans coach after winning us a couple of Super Bowls the next 2 decades.

Edited by Macklemore
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