C.J. Stroud has been with the Houston Texans for a month, and the franchise has already seen some positive signs regarding their quarterback. While Stroud is competing with Davis Mills for the starting quarterback job, Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik has noticed a huge difference in Stroud's preparation since he was drafted a month ago.
"It's required that he reaches out to learn more for me, so that's happened a lot. But he wants to have command of what's going on, as anyone who's in that position should," Slowik said Wednesday. "They want to feel comfortable in what they're doing, what direction they have to go, what answers to have to have on every play, and every play is a little different.
"For him, being able to tie things back to other experiences that are the same is kind of what we grind through over and over again, and it's really a lot of, again, our offense and our defense as we do the minutiae, branch out from it, and then at the end of the day we kind of point back to things we've already talked about and said, hey, this is the same as something else you've already done, and that just helps them hone in on specific."
Stroud wanting to take command of the offense is an excellent sign for the Texans, who drafted him No. 2 overall to be the franchise quarterback the organization hasn't seen since the DeShaun Watson fiasco. Stroud is the start of the Texans' rebuild trending upward after a few seasons of not being competitive, the centerpiece toward the franchise going back to becoming a winner.
A two-time Heisman Trophy finalist, Stroud had the most passing touchdowns in a two-year span in Big Ten history (85). Ohio State led the FBS in points per game (45.0) and yards per game (526.0) in the past two seasons. The Buckeyes averaged 44.4 points per game in Stroud's starts as he became the fifth player in FBS history with multiple 40 pass touchdown seasons.
The first Big Ten quarterback taken in the top 10 since Kerry Collins in 1995, Stroud is looking to take the Texans to new heights. Slowik, who came from the San Francisco 49ers organization (quarterbacks coach), is leaning toward his former employer on developing his quarterback.
"It's always a balancing act," Slowik said. "Being able to bounce ideas off guys or have guys tell you their experiences and what they went through and what to watch out for, which may or may not apply to the situation you're going through, but it's always beneficial when you have people around you that have been through it."