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"Baller": Texans coaches, teammates sound off on rookie C.J. Stroud

C.J. Stroud's teammates and coaches think the same of him as General Manager Nick Caserio and the front office did when they picked the Ohio State quarterback second overall.


Over the course of rookie minicamp, Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and then veteran minicamp, the rookie signal-caller impressed Head Coach DeMeco Ryans, the assistants, and Texans players on both offense and defense.

For Ryans, one of Stroud's most impressive traits was his ability to correct mistakes and improve. Stroud led the offense on a touchdown drive in one practice, just moments after throwing an interception.

"For a quarterback you have to have a short memory," Ryans said. "You can't let one bad play become three bad plays, right? To see him and see his resolve, the way he was able to come back, compete, drive the offense down for a touchdown there at the end of practice – that was pretty cool to see."

Quarterbacks coach Jerrod Johnson is "excited" for Stroud's future and explained what the Texans' goals were for Stroud in May and June.

"We just want him to be comfortable and confident in what we're asking him to do," Johnson said. "We just want him to be the best version of himself. That's what the spring is about: getting reps and learning the system."

According to running back Devin Singletary, Stroud picked up offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik's system rapidly, and wasn't daunted by the jump from the Big 10 to the NFL.

"Man, he's bright," Singletary said. "It's a lot as a young quarterback, coming in and learning a new offense – coming in here with grown men, coming from college. You're looked at as a leader out the gate. But he's handling it well."

Like Singletary, tight end Dalton Schultz is a veteran who joined the Texans from a 2022 playoff team. Singletary was a Bill last year, while Schultz played for the Cowboys. Schultz echoed Singletary's thoughts, and said a switch gets flipped with Stroud when he steps foot on the field.

"His attitude and demeanor are kind of understated at times and he walks through pretty humbled like head down, soft voice but you start to interact with him and the kid just oozes confidence," Schultz said. "The kid is a baller."

Schultz spoke at length about the learning process he and his Texans offensive teammates went through this spring under Slowik. Stroud underscored what Schultz said about the process, and described how it's gone.

"They've been very methodical and want to get me to learn it step by step, just like how they would teach anybody else," Stroud said. "I feel like I've tried to do a lot of work on my own, so when I come back the next day, I have that to put in the bank to be able to move on to the next install, whatever it is."

Stroud and the Texans will begin training camp on Wednesday, July 26.

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