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Houston Texans

"Angry" Will Anderson, Jr. makes early impact vs. Dolphins

Will Anderson, Jr. wasted little time making an impact in Saturday's preseason game with Miami.

Just two minutes into the first quarter, the rookie defensive end tackled Raheem Mostert at the 2-yard line after a Tua Tagavailoa bobbled snap and handoff, and it came on the first play of the second Dolphins possession.

Then, on Miami's first drive of the second quarter, he flattened running back DeVon Achane before strip-sacking the ball from quarterback Skylar Thompson. When Thompson pounced on the fumble, Miami was backed into a 3rd-and-24 at their own 12-yard line.

Anderson's teammates were impressed, and unsurprised.

"I said this before, Will comes to work every day angry," linebacker Denzel Perryman said. "I can see him do it every day."

The Texans fell, 28-3, to Miami at NRG Stadium in the second preseason contest, but Anderson finished his day with a tackle for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and two total tackles.

"Really just trying to do what my coaches told me to do," Anderson said. "I think one of the biggest things they've been harping on is for the D-line is just getting off the ball, wreaking havoc and being physical."

Anderson's physicality, as it was last week at New England and has been throughout training camp, was at a high level.

"I thought he did a really good job of disrupting," Head Coach DeMeco Ryans said. "Playing on their side of the line of scrimmage. That's what we want from our defensive end. It's good to see Will show that. That's what we know Will can do. It was fun to see him make a play. It was fun to see the energy after a play.

On the sack, Perryman explained there's still a thing or two Anderson can learn.

"It was an amazing play to be honest with you," Perryman said. "I was surprised he didn't get it. I got to teach him you got to tackle the ball carrier, whoever's trying to get the ball, and let everybody else rally to it."

It was the Texans' first game at NRG Stadium in 2023, and Anderson's first game in front of the Texans' crowd. Even though it ended in defeat, he still appreciated the experience.

"It was fun," Anderson said. "I don't take any of this for granted. I'm super blessed to be here, It was like a really big dream come true."

Anderson and the Texans will have Sunday off, and they'll return to practice Tuesday morning. On Tuesday afternoon they'll fly to New Orleans, where they'll practice with the Saints on Thursday and Friday, before concluding the preseason game slate on Sunday.

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