Skip to main content

Defensive changes, a rating scale & TORO's family origins | Fans Wanna Know


Got a question about the Texans?
Life in general?
Drew Dougherty's your guy.
He's been with the Texans since 2009 and is chock full of meaningful, as well as generally useless, information. Fire away by clicking

Zachary Hernanez: Dear Drew, What is the defense looking like so far?
DD: Zachary, the pass rush has some serious fangs. NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson, Jr. is back for Year 2, and he'll be joined by one of the best pass-rushers in the game in Danielle Hunter. In Minnesota last season, Hunter finished with career-bests in sacks (16.5) and tackles for loss (23). Nobody in the NFL had more tackles for loss than Hunter. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL…said the gameshow voice.

The Texans also added a whole lot more nastiness in defensive lineman Denico Autry. In his 10-year NFL career with Oakland, the Colts and Titans, Autry’s played against Houston 15 times, including a pair of playoff games. In those games versus the Texans, he's amassed 8.5 sacks, 16  sacks, and six batted passes. Last season with Tennessee, Autry rang up 11.5 sacks.

Linebacker Christian Harris is back, and the Texans added another veteran linebacker in Azeez Al-Shaair. One of the best corners in the game, Derek Stingley, Jr. is heading into his third NFL season.

We'll hear about some more moves in the days and weeks to come, but I think the defense is going to be a bit better in 2024.

***Zachary, thanks so much for the question. You're this week's winner of the Texas Lottery Scratchoffs, and someone from the organization will soon be in touch with you.***

Keagan Morales: Dear Drew, On a scale on 1-10 how would you rate the Texans last season?
DD: I'll give it an 8.

A Super Bowl victory would make it a 10. But considering where the franchise was when the Texans walked off the field in Indianapolis to close out the 2022 campaign, it's been a remarkable turnaround. In the span of about 14 months now, Houston's hired DeMeco Ryans as head coach, drafted quarterback C.J. Stroud and Anderson, and then peeled off 11 wins after they began the season with a pair of losses.

The fanbase is energized, the offices here are energized and the locker room is energized.

The future of the Texans is incredibly bright.

Diane Villegas: Dear Drew, Do you think Houston Texans can become a dynasty over the next few years?
DD: Sure. But they have to win Super Bowls to do that. One step at a time.

2023 was a good beginning. But if you wanna bring up the "dynasty" word, they must get busy winning and not let up.

Miguel Palma: Dear Drew, When is the Houston Texans training camp?
DD: No dates have been announced yet, but it always begins at the end of July and runs through a good chunk of August. I hope we see you out there.

Nicholas Heinz: Dear Drew, Does TORO have a family?
DD: Yes. He's the son of Tex and Ann. They're very proud parents. His sister is Tori. He's also related to InflataBULL, but nobody in the family can remember quite how.

Julian Alvarez, Patrick Watson and Christian Heinz all had questions about the new jersey designs, helmets, colors and whatnot. I'll just say this: you'll see them next month!

Related Content