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Houston Texans past, present and future makes big splash at NFL Honors

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The Houston Texans didn't just make a splash at the 2024 NFL Honors.

They jumped off the high dive, tucked both knees to their chest, cannonballed into the deep end and drenched the audience.

Legendary wide receiver Andre Johnson was selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, while quarterback C.J. Stroud and defensive end Will Anderson, Jr. won Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, respectively.

Head Coach DeMeco Ryans and Offensive Coordinator Bobby Slowik were also nominated for Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year, respectively. Those five, along with Team Chairman/CEO Cal McNair and Houston Texans Foundation Vice President Hannah McNair were all in Las Vegas for the 13th annual awards show.

In an interview with Brandon Scott of SportsRadio 610, Ryans explained the significance of the evening.

"This moment is special because of the entire organization," Ryans said. "To have two rookies up for an award, Andre's up for Hall of Fame. It's putting the Texans back on the map. We are on the map now, and the entire world is able to see the type of people we have in our organization. That's what makes the night special."

For the McNairs, they pointed out the significance of a couple duos—Exec. VP & General Manager Nick Caserio and Ryans, as well as the rookies Stroud and Anderson—to the success the franchise experienced in 2023.

"I think you just start putting all the pieces in place," Hannah McNair said. "You just start building. Boy, have we built this year. It's incredible."

Cal McNair added that while the turnaround seemed to happen instantaneously, it took a little bit of time.

"It seems like it flipped like that, but it's taken a lot of work and a bit of time, and it's fun to see. It was a really fun season."

Johnson is 11th on the all-time receiving yards and receptions list, and will get inducted with the other _ members of the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame class this summer. Johnson will be enshrined on Saturday, August 3 this summer in Canton, Ohio. When he walked out with the rest of the class tonight, he was elated.

He's the first Hall of Famer to have played the majority of his career with the Texans, and in 2017 Johnson was also the first member of the organization to go into the franchise's Ring of Honor.

Texans Head Coach DeMeco Ryans was a teammate of Johnson's from 2006 through 2011. Ryans was nominated for the 2023 Coach of the Year Award, which was ultimately won by _. The head coach was pumped that Johnson finally got the call from the Hall.

While the spotlights shined brightly on the Texans past, so too were they brilliant on the present and future of Houston football. Houston becomes just the fourth team (2022 Jets, 2017 Saints and 1967 Lions) to take home both rookie of the year awards.

Stroud, after tossing 23 touchdowns and engineering a 10-7 AFC South-winning season, picked up the Associated Press' Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. It's been a whirlwind year for the young signal-caller, and Thursday evening was the culmination of a wonderful first year as a professional.

This honor means a lot, and to whatever kid that's out here watching, you can do anything you put your mind to," Stroud said. "I'm a living testimony to perseverance and just trusting your goals and your dreams"

Stroud was picked second overall in last year's NFL Draft, and just seconds after his selection, the Texans maneuvered to get into the third overall spot in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals. They took Anderson there, and he responded with a campaign that saw him tally seven quarterback sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 22 quarterback hits. Like Stroud, Anderson was selected as a team captain by his teammates prior to the start of the regular season. He led on the field and off it and is bullish on the future of the franchise.

While the night was a celebration of accomplishments from the recent, and in Johnson's case, more distant past, they all agreed the direction of the Texans is an overwhelmingly positive one.

"It's just (going) up," Anderson said. "Up. We set the foundation. We got everything set. We just gotta keep building the blocks and keep chopping wood."

The team will be back together again in mid-April when the start of offseason conditioning begins at NRG Stadium.

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