Preseason games may not count in football, but the experience always does for rookies like DE Will Anderson Jr.
Drafted No. 3 overall, Anderson played nine snaps in the Houston Texans preseason opener at New England Thursday night and finished with one tackle, bringing down Patriots RB Kevin Harris in the first quarter. Head Coach DeMeco Ryans stated what the stat sheet did not.
"I thought Will – he had a really good start, made a couple plays in there," Ryans said Friday. "Good first game for him. But it's also things to improve on just with alignment, technique, those things that he has to improve on, as well."
The Texans defense shined in the 20-9 victory, recording 3.0 sacks, seven tackles for loss and four quarterback hits. Houston held the Patriots offense to just 164 total net yards (76 rushing, 86 passing) on the night. Through the first two weeks of training camp and one preseason game, Ryans likes where his team is at heading into the regular season.
"I think we're right where we need to be," Ryans said. "The first two weeks of camp, guys are still learning. There are a lot of installs that we put in where guys are learning the schemes on all three phases of the game. They're learning, and now you get a chance to kind of slow that process down. There are no more installs. Now you get to continue to do the same things over and over again and see how guys can separate themselves – who can be consistent in their preparation, who can be consistent on the details of their job and their fundamentals."
The Texans will host the Dolphins for joint practices at the Houston Methodist Training Center on Aug. 16 and 17 ahead of their preseason matchup. Kickoff from NRG Stadium is set for Aug. 19 at 3 p.m. CT.