Head Coach DeMeco Ryans spoke Monday afternoon following the Houston Texans preseason finale victory in New Orleans. From roster cuts to quarterbacks, here is a recap of the head coach's press conference summarized in a one-minute recap.
DeMeco's message to players ahead of roster cuts
The NFL's roster cutdown day is Tuesday. Over the next 24 hours, the Texans will be trimming their roster from 90 players down to 53.
"It's tough and sensitive," Ryans said. "It's a delicate situation for a lot of guys. We want to tell guys just to keep working, continue their dreams. Hopefully, they have an opportunity to make another 53-man roster or make a practice squad. There is opportunity around the entire NFL to be able to make it. And that's my message to those guys."
Two or three quarterbacks?
With the NFL changing its rules on quarterbacks available for games, teams can field an emergency quarterback that won't count against the 46-man active roster on game days. So, will the Texans continue to keep two quarterbacks or add a third to their roster?
"When it comes to the quarterback position, it depends on which three do you have? I feel really strongly about our three quarterbacks and I think we had a really good quarterback room," Ryans said. "When we feel good about all three of those guys."
The Texans currently have four quarterbacks on their roster: C.J. Stroud, Davis Mills, Case Keenum and E.J. Perry, recently added in camp.
Cam Dantzler, new guy
Third-year cornerback Cameron Dantzler signed with the Texans less than a week ago but made his presence known immediately. On the final pass of the game, Dantzler intercepted QB Jake Haener's pass to end the game against the Saints and solidify a 17-13 win for his new team.
"As far as he can go out and make a big play for us there in that game, it's a fun moment for the entire team to end the game there," Ryans said. "Cam had only been with us for a few days, so it's encouraging to see his talent. He's played in the league. He's an NFL corner, so he has the ability to play in this league."
Last season, Dantzler started nine of 10 games as a Minnesota Viking and had a game-winning forced fumble and fumble recovery on the same play against Chicago in Week 5.
Questions at left guard
In the preseason finale, the starting offensive line was without left guard Kenyon Green. Instead, five-year veteran Michael Deiter lined up next to Laremy Tunsil and Green entered the game a few series later with the second team. The changes at left guard hint at some possible injuries and "multiple things" that Green is working through right now.
"Dieter was the guy that deserved more reps, so we gave him some of the reps, seeing how he looked with the first team," Ryans said. "Kenyon has done a great job of battling through, he's dealing with some things. He's battled through a lot and it's been tough on him. But I'm proud of Kenyon and what he's battling through that everyone may not know, but tough kid going through a lot, but he's trying to go every single day. And he pushed it for us. Proud of his effort and what he put out there for us."
Tank Dell as a return man and WR
Against the Saints, rookie Tank Dell showed off his wheels and playmaking skills with a 26-yard punt return in the first quarter. Dell has had an outstanding showing in his two preseason appearances, catching a touchdown pass in his debut at New England. But, how much is too much on a rookie's plate?
"When you look at Tank, he's a guy, who I've said multiple times, he's been an explosive play maker," Ryans said. "Just how do you get the ball in his hands, whether it's at the receiver position or returner position? Tank is the guy who can make plays for us all over the field. So whatever Tank can handle, that's what he'll do for us."
The Texans will open the 2023 regular season on the road against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 10. Kickoff is set for noon CT on CBS and Sports Radio 610.