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Houston Texans

DeMeco Ryans talks at NFL Annual League Meeting | 1-Minute Recap


The NFL Annual League Meeting is happening this week in Orlando. A gathering of owners, general managers, head coaches and other top team decision-makers, DeMeco Ryans met with the media this morning for just over 30 minutes. Here are a few topics he discussed, which you can read in less than 60 seconds.

Year 2 for C.J. Stroud

After a 2023 that saw him capture NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, quarterback C.J. Stroud is primed for big things in his second professional campaign. Understandably, Ryans was asked quite a bit about Stroud, and the head coach is very optimistic about what's ahead for the young signal-caller.

"He's really taking a huge jump and now he doesn't have to re-learn the playbook," Ryans said. "He knows what we're asking him to do, and now he can be more honed in on the details of his mechanics. All those small things where he can get better as a quarterback."

Stroud tossed 23 touchdowns and was picked off just five times, and that was the best TD/INT ration in the NFL. He was also atop the league leaderboard with 274 passing yards per contest. He's the first rookie to ever lead the NFL in both those categories. Now, he must continue to do the little things to improve.

"As he continues to grow, a lot of film is out there on him now," Ryans said. "So defenses will have tendencies on him. Now it's a matter of him really honing in on himself and attacking all of the little details to be a step ahead of the defenses."

Autry All Over

Defensive lineman Denico Autry was one of the early additions in Texans free agency two weeks ago, and Ryans likes the flexibility and options he brings to the defense.

"He does a really great job of rushing on the interior," Ryans said. "So in passing situations, we'll try to move him around to where we feel like he'll be most effective. When you have a guy like Denico who can do multiple things, I think that'll vary from week to week of what we're doing schematically with him, to try to put as much pressure on the opposing team as possible."

Autry recorded a career-high 11.5 sacks last season in Tennessee. He's played defensive end and defensive tackle throughout his 10 seasons in the NFL.

Continuity Continues

For the first time since 2020, the Texans enter a season without a new head coach. Additionally, offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, defensive coordinator Matt Burke and special teams coordinator Frank Ross are all back. That continuity can only help the squad, according to Ryans.

"For all of our young players who are going through it again for the second time, we expect them to have an accelerated growth process," Ryans said "Offensively, it definitely helps with quarterback and the play calls, the terminology.  You don't have to come in and learn a new terminology this year. We should definitely hit the ground running in that regard."

No matter the side of the ball, the familiarity and carry over from last year to 2024 should keep the learning--and playing--process speedy.

"It just allows us to play faster," Ryans said. "Offensively, defensively, special teams, it allows us to play faster."

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