Skip to main content
Houston Texans

Will Anderson, Jr. wasted no time in making big impression


Will Anderson, Junior made his first two months as a Texan count. Now, he and the team are counting on big things in the years to come.

In late April, the team traded up to third overall on Draft night to select the Alabama defensive lineman. In May and June, he did all the right things in the classrooms, weight room and on the practice field.

Anderson wasted little time in making a big impression in Houston, and Head Coach DeMeco Ryans has been mightily impressed early.

"When it comes to just the effort, the tenacity that he plays with, the energy, everything about him, he's been that and more," Ryans said. "Will has gotten better each and every day. He takes coaching really well. Doc has done a really good job of working with him, honing in on just those small fine details of his game. Will has done a great job of absorbing coaching and being able to take it to the field and apply it. It's been cool to watch."

Despite the compliments, very early on in May, Anderson pointed out how little he's actually accomplished.

"I haven't arrived yet," Anderson said. "I just got here. I haven't did anything yet. I got to earn it. I got to go out there and get the trust from the guys, keep connecting with them, and just paying attention to everything I'm doing and working hard."

The greatest player in team history, J.J. Watt, is also a fan, and looks forward to meeting up with Anderson this fall. Jerry Hughes, who rang up nine sacks in his 13th NFL season last fall, explained how Anderson hasn't wasted any time in seeking improvement.

"Not afraid to sit in the front of the classroom, ask questions, be repetitive so he can make sure he understands what the coaches are asking him to go out there and perform and do," Hughes said. "I think that's just key. He has all of the physical tools to go out there and be a freak of nature and wreak havoc for four quarters."

Hughes also pointed out, however, that Anderson doesn't need any pushing or prodding on the field. The young defensive end isn't shy about being aggressive.

"That's something you really love to see early on where you have to pull him back versus encouraging him to kind of be aggressive, trying to get him to use different techniques," Hughes said. "He's here early, getting in with all the coaches. That's what you want to see from a young player, someone who is eager to learn and doing all the right things early on."

Taken one spot after quarterback C.J. Stroud, Anderson and the young signal-caller have also made those at the very top of the organization take notice.

"They're hungry, they're ready to learn," Texans Foundation Vice President Hannah McNair said. "It's contagious for the guys around them. You can see that. They're all ready to win."

Houston Texans rookies continued their team bonding activities with a day trip to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center on June 20, 2023. Scroll through all the best shots as the Space City rookies take over NASA!

Second-year safety Jalen Pitre agreed with McNair, remarking how he loves "to be around that type of energy." Anderson's energy showed up very early on in Organized Team Activities (OTAs).

"Plays with his hair on fire, a guy that is excited about the game of football and loves to do what he do," Pitre said after a practice in May. "He made a play in OTAs today, and he had a celebration. So it's a guy that's used to just making plays."

For now, Anderson and the Texans have off until the beginning of training camp in late July.

Related Content