‘Pick Your Poison’ – C.J. Stroud Impressed With Texans’ Wealth of Offensive Playmakers

C.J. Stroud has been impressed with the revamped offense the Houston Texans have put around him this offseason as he looks to build on a strong rookie year.

C.J. Stroud burst onto the NFL scene last year with a standout rookie season that helped the Houston Texans go well beyond expectations in 2023. As the franchise prepares for 2024, Stroud is excited about the even deeper core of playmakers he has to work with after Houston’s offseason additions.

C.J. Stroud Praises Texans’ Wealth of Wide Receivers

Stroud had plenty of praise for the Texans’ strong corps of wide receivers during his media availability on Tuesday.

Houston brings back standouts Nico Collins and Tank Dell, who led last year’s receiving corps, alongside Noah Brown, Robert Woods, and even John Metchie III — not to mention acquiring Stefon Diggs in a trade with the Buffalo Bills.

“I think we have like five No. 1s, so that’s kind of cool to have,” Stroud said. “I’ve had that before in college, and now I have it again. It’s going to be fun, man.”

Stroud certainly had deep wide receiver rooms during his time at Ohio State.

He threw to the likes of now-NFL players Marvin Harrison Jr., Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Garrett Wilson, and Chris Olave over two years as the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback, along with many other strong options behind them.

Stroud now believes to have a similarly loaded room with the Texans, one that could do plenty of damage under the direction of offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik.

Although reaching all of those wide receivers can be a challenge, Stroud said he’s keeping the simplified mindset of finding the open man heading into the season.

“My thinking is you got to pick your poison playing us,” Stroud said. “Who are you going to double? Who are you going to cater to? You’ve got five dogs who are able to get the ball in each given play. So, I think it’s fun.

“I know Slow has done a great job of being more creative and has put different personnel packages out there, guys in different positions, going from inside to outside. I’m very excited to work with Coach Slow again.”

Houston Loaded Up With Offseason Additions

The Texans loaded up on additions this offseason in an effort to give Stroud the best chance possible to succeed while still under his rookie contract.

Diggs is certainly the headliner after Houston shipped off a 2025 second-round pick to acquire the star WR and other draft capital from Buffalo. The Texans also traded a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for running back Joe Mixon, providing yet another offensive playmaker to an already stacked unit.

MORE: Ranking the NFL’s Best Wide Receiver Trios: How High Are The Texans?

Several defensive players were added to the fray as well, including defensive ends Danielle Hunter and Denico Autry to provide more pass-rushing threats alongside Will Anderson Jr.

Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair and cornerback Jeff Okudah looked poised to help round out the defense as well after signing with the Texans as free agents.

Houston certainly put its wealth of salary cap space to use and hopes that will translate to building on last year’s resurgent season with another strong year in 2024.

Expectations Rise for Texans After Big Offseason

All of those moves, along with the standard set by last year’s 10-7 season and Wild Card round playoff win, have only elevated expectations for the Texans heading into the 2024 season.

Houston had won four games or less in each of the previous three seasons before last year’s resurgent campaign under first-year coach DeMeco Ryans and rookies Stroud, Dell, and Anderson, among others.

With all of those players a year more experienced and many of the Texans’ key contributors from 2023 back alongside some key additions, Stroud knows the bar has been raised.

“It’s a ton of expectations, it’s a ton of things we want to do this year, that we should do this year, but you have to slow down and learn just how to execute one play at a time,” Stroud said.

“This sport can change your life if you do it the right way. Being accountable, doing the extra stuff away from the facility, that stuff matters at the end of the day because all the expectations and all the pressure, that really doesn’t matter if you do those things.”

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