The Texans spent Monday morning and afternoon in meetings, and the players also cleaned out their lockers. It was the final time the 2023 bunch will be together, and Houston won't be together as a team again until the offseason conditioning program begins in mid-April. It was also the first time in awhile some of the injured players spoke with the media, too. Head Coach DeMeco Ryans, quarterback C.J. Stroud and defensive end Will Anderson, Jr. talked at press conferences inside NRG Stadium. Here are some nuggets of news from Monday, all readable in less than 60 seconds.
Excitement over future
Before the season began, few expected the Texans to advance to the Divisional Round of the playoffs, much less have a winning record. But they did, and the optimism in the locker room, around the building, in the fanbase and beyond is quite high. Joshua Koch has more, **HERE**.
C.J. Stroud's been running and gunning since the summer before his final season at Ohio State started in 2022. He detailed his plans for the early part of the offseason, which you can read about **HERE**.
Offensive Coordinator Bobby Slowik has interviewed for a few head coach positions around the NFL over the last week, and reports came out Monday that quarterbacks coach Jerrod Johnson was sought after by a couple teams to interview for an offensive coordinator position. Ryans discussed it, and took the interest from other teams as a compliment to what Houston was able to do, collectively, this season.
"First off, it's a credit to our staff and the success that we had throughout the year, and a lot of people are trying to see what's going on in Houston, and a lot of people want to have interview requests," Ryans said. "Of course, it's kind of the nature of success. When you have success, other people want to see what's going on and probably want to take some guys to help them out as well. It's a tough part of it, but it's part of the business. That's what happens, and we'll have to have contingency plans available if guys happen to leave."
Stroud meanwhile, was effusive in his praise for both Slowik and Johnson. The rookie would like both to return to Houston next season, but also wants the best for them as well.
"Whatever happens with those guys, they deserve whatever is coming to them," Stroud said. "It's been a blessing working with them, but if they come back, that would be cool too."
Wide receiver Tank Dell's season ended in early December with a broken leg, and when he exited the field at NRG Stadium, he left with a then-Texans best seven touchdown catches on the year. As a rookie, Dell averaged 15.1 yards per catch and tallied a trio of games with 100 receiving yards or more.
He met with the media on Monday, and his spirits were high. Dell also gave an update on his comeback from the injury.
"Physically I'm good," Dell said. "I've been back walking, but rehab with our trainers has been great. They've been leading the way and I've been just listening to everything they're telling me to do, and it's been good. I'll be back soon."
Ryans has said previously that Dell will be ready for the offseason conditioning program.
Too much fun
Quarterback Case Keenum wound starting a pair of December games when Stroud was out with a concussion, and the veteran guided Houston to a road victory at Tennessee in the first one. The former University of Houston Cougar began his NFL career as undrafted free agent on the Texans' practice squad in 2012, before starting eight games here in 2013, and two more in 2014.
He reflected on the wild ride of 2023, and described how much fun he had this year.
"Too much fun," Keenum said. "It was a blast. There's so many different memories, so many different times. Different guys that I have incredible bonds with now. I love this game of football and to be able to do it here in Houston, in my hometown, with this group of guys was very special."