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Happy Birthday, C.J. Stroud!
The rookie quarterback turned 22 on Tuesday, October 3. 
By Houston Texans Staff Oct 03, 2023

To celebrate, is sending the young signal-caller some birthday "flowers" in the form of complimentary quotes from his Head Coach DeMeco Ryans, Offensive Coordinator Bobby Slowik, numerous teammates, and even a former quarterback or two who are also impressed with what he's done four games into his NFL career.

1) Ryans on the intel he and the Texans got on Stroud in the pre-Draft process: "His teammates spoke very highly of him throughout the interview process, coaches spoke highly of him, and that hasn't changed. He was a great teammate in college, he's been a great teammate since he's been here with us. He was a leader at Ohio State, and he's been a leader since he's been here with us, so it just to show that they don't change much from who they are in college, and that's been proven with C.J. as well."

2)Fellow Texans rookie, wide receiver Tank Dell: “C.J. is a dog, man.”

3) Slowik, on what it's like coaching Stroud:  "It's immensely fun. Very fun. There's not many things we talk about – I would say, truthfully, I don't think there's any that I can recall that we talk about that he can't immediately point to what I'm talking about. Whether I reference something on film that their defense does, I reference a hole that we want to get to, I talk about a route that we want to run – it clicks really fast and that's mainly because of preparation to me. It just makes for a very easy conversation and very easy back and forths."

4) Texans Left guard Kendrick Green, when asked what he and the rest of the offensive line did to keep Stroud from getting sacked in Jacksonville. (He also wasn't sacked a week later against the Steelers): : "To be honest, it's all CJ, man. C.J.'s got us coming together. We're trying to play for him, knowing he's young and y'all see what he can do."

5) Texans wide receiver Nico Collins, who's now recorded a pair of 100-plus yard games in 2023 with Stroud: "We already knew he had that it factor in him since we drafted him. It's the reason he's got that C on his chest. We're going to have his back 100% of the way, and it's only going to get better for him. The sky's the limit for him. Dude can ball. It shows on Sundays, but we're going to keep going, keep climbing, keep growing together and keep shocking the world."

6) Dell, on the high standards Stroud has for himself: "He'll go out there and make a perfect play. But probably we messed up on something. He'd be like, 'Nah, that's my fault.'"

Houston Texans QB C.J. Stroud celebrates his birthday on October 3, 2023.

7) Slowik, on Stroud's dedication and film study off the field: "It's kind of been a recurring theme. The amount of time he dedicates to football I think, is exceptional for a rookie. He does not want to go out on the field and lack command of any kind. He wants to know where all the answers are to everything he could possibly get, and I think every week it just sticks more and more and more. You can see it in how he plays, particularly his pace of play. Every week he dedicates a lot of time to that, and I think it shows up."

8) Former NFL quarterback/current football analyst for CBS Sports Danny Kanell: "He has been phenomenal. He has been the best rookie in this class so far through four games. And he's the best rookie through four games in the history of the NFL…He has been spectacular."

9) Texans running back Devin Singletary on the way Stroud distributes the ball to the receivers, tight ends and backs: "He can get it around to anybody. He's looking good. He's looking real good. I think he's been smooth with spreading the rock around ,for sure."

10) Former NFL quarterback/current football analyst for CBS Sports Boomer Esiason:

“C.J. Stroud is so far ahead of the curve right now, and looked so good today against the Steelers, you would’ve thought he’s been in the league five years.” CBS Sports Boomer Esiason

11) Texans tight end Dalton Schultz on some of Stroud's greatest strengths: "Being able to be calm under pressure. CJ's back there making great smart plays as a young quarterback, not trying to do too much."

12) Texans center, and fellow rookie, Jarrett Patterson on Stroud's command of the huddle: "He's awesome. He takes a lot of pride in leading the huddle. of being the cue of the team.

13) Texans wide receiver Robert Woods on what he's seen from Stroud through four games: "He's being a poised quarterback, being able to be a true leader, being able to stand in the pocket, being able to take hits, make the right throws, being able to keep this offense on the on the field at times on third downs, being able to make the right reads, the right throws.

14) Collins on Stroud’s progress, week-to-week: "You can tell it's getting slower and slower for him.”

15) Green, who arrived via trade from Pittsburgh at the end of August, on how long it took him to see Stroud was advanced for a rookie: "Like, three days."

16) Green on what happens when Stroud's protected properly: "If he gets time back there, he's going to let it fly. That's our biggest motivation: just trying to keep CJ clean…and the whole world will see what happens when he's clean."

17) Slowik on the input Stroud gives the coaching staff about what works and what doesn't: "I've said before, a lot of this is, 'How do we help them be in the best position they can be in to succeed? That's not always coming from me, that's also dialogue with him – what he likes and what he wants to do. That is way easier to get to the end point when you're both already starting on the same page. It's just enjoyable."


18) Woods on Stroud's progress:.The first game, he made a lot of plays. The second game, he really improved and made a lot of plays. I think he's going to be a great quarterback in this league.

19) Patterson on Stroud's preparation: "He's smart and I see him in here all the time. He's always studying, working, asking us the O-line questions. We have protection, run meetings together. So he's on it."

20) Green on Stroud's progress: "Each week he's getting better and better. Making better decisions. He has better timing, better rhythm with the receivers."

21) Woods, a captain, on if he was surprised the rookie Stroud was named a captain: No, I'm not surprised at all. He's always trying to expand his football knowledge and he's always super humble.

22) Dell, on the team playing for Stroud: "He's going to go all four quarters.We want to make plays not only for the team but just for him because of what he brings to the table."

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