Texans kick off this weekend
The Texans spent the last three seasons cycling through coaches and quarterbacks — the NFL equivalent of throwing spaghetti at the wall. That instability led to a grand total of 11 wins and one of the worst offenses in the league, Axios' Everett Cook writes.
Why it matters: After taking quarterback C.J. Stroud with the No. 2 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft and bringing former All-Pro linebacker DeMeco Ryans back to Houston as head coach, the Texans finally seem to have committed to their future.
- The team also traded a haul of picks to move up and draft former Alabama defensive end Will Anderson with the No. 3 pick — so the building blocks are now there.
What we're watching: How Ryans leads his young roster through what should be another losing season. One of the best defensive coordinators in the league when he was with San Francisco, Ryans signed a six-year contract and should have a long leash to experiment with schemes and personnel.
- But he's also Houston's third coach in three years. Can the franchise and general manager Nick Caserio relax long enough to let Ryans' leadership imprint on the roster, especially the defense?
Best-case scenario: Stroud is inconsistent but still shows that he's the signal caller to build around after he clicks with young receivers like Nico Collins and John Metchie. Ryans gets a young defense from rough to average and the Texans look like they can compete for the AFC South title in 2024.
Worst-case scenario: After failing to get help from an unproven cadre of wide receivers, Stroud flounders and fans start to itch for backup Davis Mills by November. Ryans asks too much from his young defense and the Texans lose double-digit games by double digits.
What's next: The Texans open the 2023 season on the road against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 10.
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