The Houston Texans are laying the foundation of their rebuild with rookie head coach DeMeco Ryans and a roster highlighter by young talent. Veterans like Robert Woods and Jimmie Ward are there to ensure that the youngsters find and stay on the right track.
Woods previously compared Ryans' Texans squad to Sean McVay's Los Angeles Rams squad when he first took over. He said that he was impressed with what he saw Ryans do as an assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers and the level of buy-in that he has gotten out of the Texans so far.
“I feel like this is a similar situation to when I came to L.A. with a young [Sean] McVay,” said Texans WR Robert Woods when I asked about the energy surrounding the team. “I think coach Ryan’s has that here.” #Texans #Sarge @TheTexansWire pic.twitter.com/hkQSdtF8H5
— #SARGE (@BigSargeSportz) May 26, 2023
“I never knew I would come here to this offense — or to this team,” Woods said. “Just coming here and hearing DeMeco talk for years, I guess, being with the Rams and seeing him kind of develop with the 49ers and take over that defense and give energy to that linebacker group, that whole team, and be able to see him come here and kind of feed that same energy to our team. I see it from our defensive side — a lot of energy, a lot of juice — spreading over to the offense.”
Woods saw a lot of Ryans over the years and clearly liked what he saw. He chose to sign with the rebuilding Texans instead of joining a team ready to win because he believes in his former rival coach's vision. Comparing the beginning of his tenure to the beginning of McVay's is a good sign for Houston.
“I think a lot of hungry players, hungry coaches,” Ryans continued. “I feel like this is a similar situation to when I came to L.A. with a young McVay. Some people say it was a rebuild but I feel like it was just a team buying into the culture, believing in the coach, believing in the system, and I think Coach Ryans has that here. Got a lot of young players buying into this offense, into this defense, into this culture and we can change this environment.”
Ward, who developed under Ryans in San Francisco, will help out the Texans' defense while Woods serves as a reliable option for rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, whom he really believes in.