Texans Head Coach DeMeco Ryans


August 10, 2023


Q: What did you think of C.J. Stroud’s first game?

DR: I thought it was good for C.J. to go out and get some live reps, get some real looks. I thought he moved around well. Went to the right place with the ball a couple times, and it was good to see him move out of the pocket and try to make some things happen there. We’ve got some things to clean up, up front, and I don’t want him having to move as much, but we all have things to clean up and get better at, but I thought it was a good first outing, good live action, and I thought it was good for him.


Q: For Tank Dell, besides the touchdown, just overall what did you think of the performance, how it translated?

DR: It was good to see Tank make some plays. We’ve seen him make a lot of plays throughout training camp, some of these same plays, so it was good to see him do the same thing here in a game. He’s going to be an explosive playmaker for us, and we look forward to him continuing to make some of those plays.


Q: What did you see on the interception?

DR: With the interception, I think [Jalen] Mills made a really nice play, veteran player. Made a nice play. We probably were a little late there with the ball, and it was a learning lesson, and that’s why we do preseason. That’s why it’s important to get live game reps, so you can see how can you come out and improve, where can you improve, what do I need to do different next time on those certain plays, and of course offensively we want to be in position to take care of the ball better. That’s our No. 1 thing. We have to protect the ball and to have two tonight, that’s not what we try for, and defensively we have to pick it up to take the ball away more, as well.


Q: Was it the plan for Stroud to only have two drives today? You talk about experience being good for him.

DR: Yeah, he got the reps that we were planning for him to get tonight, and we’ll address each game – like the next week we’ll address that game and see where we are and how many reps he will get then.


Q: When he came off, what did you think of the demeanor, just how he was processing –

DR: Yeah, he was fine. He was fine. I think it’s good to have some ups and downs. That’s what this league is all about. It’s not always going to go great, not always go your way, but it’s all about how you respond to the things that happen to you, and I thought his response to it was fine.


Q: When you say we’ve all got things to clean up, what do you have to clean up?

DR: Just overall for us, as a team, just as we operate, the communication, everything that we’re doing, I think it was a good start for us, good first run with coaches, players, everybody working together. I thought it was a good first start, but we can always continue to improve.


Q: You mentioned the offensive line and the protection. How can you improve in that? Is there anything you think you might look to build for depth in the offensive line?

DR: Yeah, with our offensive line it’s just going back to work. We go back on the practice field and we get right back at it, and each day it’s striving to improve on your past performance. We just get back to work. There’s nothing else to it. You’ve got to put the work in to get better, and we will get better there.


Q: Patriots have been running Cunningham at receiver and in practice and early in the game. Were you expecting to see him come in at quarterback?

DR: We thought it would be a possibility for him to come in at quarterback. Cunningham is a really good athlete, made some nice plays there at the end, running the ball. It’s a really dynamic playmaker there at quarterback.


Q: How is Andrew Beck?

DR: Beck will be fine. He banged his knee up a little bit, but we’ll get further tests, but as of right now, looks like he’ll be fine.


Q: Did the defense play to your standards today?

DR: Defense did a good job of swarming. I liked the way we responded on sudden-change opportunities. We want to make sure we make their offense kick the ball there, and we did. Guys stood up, guys stood out and made plays, and it was fun to see our defense and the way they attacked there. That’s the type of style that we want to play.


Q: With Dameon Pierce not playing today – you guys wanted to run the ball. What did you see from Bobby Slowik and the offense? Were there times you saw what you wanted? What was your overview, trying to get the offense you wanted?

DR: I think our offense continued to get better as the game went on. We ran the ball well later in the game, and again, we still have things to improve on, but for the first outing, I thought it was a good performance by our offense overall, the way Davis [Mills] drove down at the half to end that first half with a score there to Tank, I thought it was really good to see them operating in two-minute, something we’ve been working on in practice, so it was good to see them come out and just be efficient.


Q: You talked about Henry To’oto’o in training camp. He had that tackle on third down. What did you see out of him today?

DR: Henry was steady, just as he’s been all training camp. The moment wasn’t too big for him. He did a really good job of communicating, and he made a few plays there. So excited to see his growth moving forward.


Q: A few of your guys were back where they started their career. What was it like seeing Chase Winovich get in after quarterback a few times and giving the ball to Dalton Keene?

DR: Yeah, it was fun to see Chase make a play. I know he was fired up. He was excited to make a play, so it was fun to see him get the sack and Dalton to get the touchdown there. It was fun to see guys make plays. I’m excited. We’re all excited when our guys make plays, and it was fun to see those guys having fun, executing and making big plays back at a place where they played before.


Q: What did you think of Davis Mills and how he played?

DR: I thought Davis did a really nice job of executing today. He was efficient with the ball. He moved us down in two-minute. Very effective there making plays. I thought Davis did a really nice job for us.


Q: This was your first time operating as a head coach. Takeaways from that today?

DR: Yeah, it’s my first time going out as a head coach, I thought it was a smooth operation, offensively, defensively. Everything went fairly smooth. It was a good first outing, and again, we’ll continue to build on what we’ve started here. Anytime we line up, we want to come out and get a win, so it’s all positive when you get a win.


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