Thursday at the Houston Methodist Training Center, the Texans practiced outside. They're preparing for a Week 4 matchup with Steelers. After the on-field work, offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, defensive coordinator Matt Burke and special teams coordinator Frank Ross met with the media. Here are a few notable items from Thursday.
'Slow on Stroud
Quarterback C.J. Stroud was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month on Thursday morning.
In his first three career games, Stroud completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 906 yards, with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. His passer rating is 98.0, and he's atop all major passing categories for NFL rookies.
Slowik attributed Stroud's fast start to his relentlessness in preparation.
"He does not want to go out on the field and lack command of any kind," Slowik said. "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 and more. You can see it in how he plays, particularly his pace of play. Last week, the ball was out fast. Every week he dedicates a lot of time to that and I think it shows up."
The challenge ahead
Stroud wasn't sacked last Sunday. Outside linebackers T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith and the rest of the Steelers defense come to town with a combined 26 quarterback hits.
Watt's registered six sacks in three games, and the rest of the Pittsburgh defense has combined for seven sacks in that same span.
"The challenge is about as high as it gets," Slowik said. "T.J. leads the league in sacks. I think he leads the league in pressures. Highsmith on the other side is right up there. I think he's second behind T.J. in forced fumbles over the last two years. We've talked about it a lot."
The official injury report was released and several Texans didn't practice Thursday. Click HERE for the full list.
To'oTo'o ownership growth
Rookie linebacker Henry To'oTo'o rang up 10 tackles last week in his first career NFL start. In the runup to the Week 3 contest at Jacksonville, Burke explained what he and the defensive coaches focused on in preparing To'oTo'o to lead the defense.
"We put a lot on him through the week last week of saying 'Hey man, you're going to be in front of this huddle. You have to run this show and communicate and get us all on the same page,'" Burke said. "He's really tried to take ownership of that and has done a really good job. So I think there's been some growth there."
On top of the leadership aspect, Burke said the defensive coaches wanted To'oTo'o to also work on his "tracking, from a tackling standpoint" and that he's been doing a good job with that.