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DeMeco Ryans pinpoints what to improve & Defenders return | 1-Minute Recap

The Texans practiced outside Wednesday afternoon at the Houston Methodist Training Center. Following that work, Head Coach DeMeco Ryans met with the media at a press conference inside NRG Stadium. So too, did quarterback C.J. Stroud. Here are a few notes from Wednesday's work.

What to improve?

Ryans, while happy his team is 3-3 and playing well since an 0-2 beginning to the campaign, said the Texans can improve" in a lot of areas". One area in particular is the performance on first downs.

"We've got to get better defensively, winning first down," Ryans said. "Offensively, we have to be better first down. We had a lot of negative plays, so I'd like to see us improve our first down efficiency."

On top of first down improvement, the first-year head coach would like to see strides made in getting off the field on third down, as well.

"It's a big challenge this week because Carolina has done a really great job over the past four weeks of being a top team in this league in third downs," Ryans said. "So, we have our hands full there, but I would love to see us improve in those areas."

Carolina on Stroud's mind

Stroud and the Texans face a Carolina defense this Sunday that's next-to-last in the NFL in points allowed, and next-to-last in the league in rushing yards allowed. Nevertheless, there are pieces on the Carolina front that impress the rookie quarterback.

"Brian Burns is definitely the core leader on that defense," Stroud said. "I think [Derrick] Brown – No. 95, [defensive] tackle – is a great player as well.  I've got to be on my 'A-game.'"

The last time the Texans beat the Panthers was in 2007, in Charlotte.

Defenders return

A pair of Texans defensive players came back on Wednesday.

Linebacker Cory Littleton, who was released a week ago, re-signed with the team earlier today. The 8-year veteran has appeared in every game this season for Houston.

Defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, who left the Week 1 loss at Baltimore with a calf injury, was activated from the injured reserve. His 21-day practice window was opened.

Injury Report

For a full look at who practiced, who didn't and who was limited today, please click **HERE**.

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