You’ll never guess what ridiculous drama the media just drummed up about Texans' CJ Stroud

STRONG WORDS

You’ll never guess what ridiculous drama the media just drummed up about Texans' CJ Stroud
Is CJ Stroud talking too much? Composite image by Brandon Strange.

It's no secret that Texans QB CJ Stroud is causing quite the social media storm for his comments about the top quarterbacks in the league.

Stroud is taking some heat for his views on Aaron Rodgers specifically, and that has people like Pat McAfee and Mike Florio wondering if this could be a problem for the Texans moving forward.

The thought being, Stroud is ruffling some feathers across the league and placing a bullseye on his back. Traditionally, players wouldn't talk about other athletes during their career publicly. But media has changed and plenty of active players have their own podcasts where they say whatever is on their minds.

In Stroud's case, he's answered some questions honestly about football, something he knows a lot about by the way. Stroud is a football nerd and lives to play and talk about ball. Which is a good thing in our eyes.

If you saw his Bleacher Report YouTube video with Cowboys' Micah Parsons during the NFL Draft, you know what we're talking about. It was amazing to see how much Stroud knew about so many NFL prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

What does JJ Watt think?

With so many shows doing segments about CJ, and his supposed criticism of Aaron Rodgers, it's no surprise that Pat McAfee took an opportunity to ask JJ Watt about it.

When asked, Watt said he was fine with it. As long as you back it up in sports, there's no problem. But you do welcome criticism when you put yourself out there in the public eye. Watt certainly knows a thing or two about that. JJ also said making public comments like CJ's can be a good thing, because it puts pressure on yourself to perform.

Chris Simms loves him some Aaron Rodgers

NBC Sports' Mike Florio and Chris Simms also took issue with Stroud's willingness to honestly assess current players. Especially Jets QB Aaron Rodgers. They defended Rodgers at seemingly every turn.

Which got us thinking, why is Aaron Rodgers some sacred cow that's above reproach all of a sudden. CJ said many positive things about Rodgers, he was just more impressed with Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning.

Sure, it’s okay for Rodgers to go on podcasts weekly during the season, and discuss conspiracy theories publicly on his own time. But Stroud is the problem for sharing his opinions about football in the offseason?

Finally, what would the response be if Stroud was openly talking about taking Ayahuasca?

Be sure to watch the video above as we answer all these questions and much more!


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The Astros host the Orioles on Friday night. Composite Getty Image.

Say it with me: The Astros aren’t dead yet. The Astros aren’t dead yet. The Astros aren’t dead yet! The odds favor them missing the postseason for the first time since 2016, but they definitely aren’t dead yet. Too much season left.

The Astros sure hope they hit their season standings rock bottom in falling 10 games back of Seattle in the American League West Tuesday. Two wins over the hapless White Sox later, coupled with two Mariner losses in Cleveland, and the deficit is eight going into the weekend. The Astros’ real race may be for a Wild Card. On that front they sit six games behind Minnesota, six and a half back of Kansas City. The Twins and Royals currently hold the second and third Wild Card slots. The Astros also trail Boston by five games.

The Astros’ season needs some positive jolts if it is not to slip away. A shot at one comes Friday night with pitcher Jake Bloss called up from Double-A Corpus Christi for his Major League debut. He is merely tasked with facing the best offense in the AL as the Baltimore Orioles visit Minute Maid Park this weekend. Bloss was the Astros’ third round draft pick last summer. He turns 23 on Sunday. He started well this season at High-A Asheville earning the move up to AA. As a Hook, Bloss was spectacular in posting a 1.61 earned run average over eight starts with a scant 19 hits allowed over 44 2/3 innings. Bloss gets the fast big league call out of necessity (with Justin Verlander on the injured list), because he excelled, and because the Astros have no significant pitching prospect knocking at the door from Triple-A Sugar Land. Not one guy in the Space Cowboys’ rotation has given up fewer hits than he has thrown innings. The Pacific Coast League is a hitters’ league, but that is a damning stat.

Blame game

With the Astros’ season a big fail to this point, it is the nature of the beast for some to call for the head(s) of Manager Joe Espada and/or General Manager Dana Brown. Espada has certainly not distinguished himself as some brilliant rookie skipper, but blaming numerous lackluster player performances on him is classic scapegoating. Brown is in his second season and does have a couple of stains on his early record, but the foremost task Brown was charged with at hire was rejuvenating the Astros’ weak farm system. It takes two or three draft classes to infuse some depth of young talent. If the Astros are sellers as the trade deadline approaches, selling is another avenue through which Brown tries to add good prospects.

Brown picked Bloss. Brown’s first first round pick was shortstop Brice Matthews who also recently earned promotion to Corpus Christi. If Jeremy Pena doesn’t show improvement, and if Matthews is fulfilling his potential, he could be challenging for the shortstop job by the end of next season. 2023 second round pick, pitcher Alonzo Tredwell, has been bad so far with the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers.

Midsummer Classic

The first phase of All-Star balloting ends Thursday at 11AM Central Time. The Astros’ representation on the American League team is simple: three definites and one maybe. Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, and Yordan Alvarez all rightfully are poised to be elected starters. Altuve has to hold off the Rangers’ Marcus Semien, but at minimum will be added as a reserve. For Altuve it will be his ninth All-Star team, adding on to his franchise record after not making the team last year because he missed the first month and a half of the season with a broken thumb.

Tucker and Alvarez will both become three-time All-Stars. Neither has been voted a starter before. Even with the time he’s missing on the injured list, Tucker belongs in the outfield with the Yankees’ superstar combo of Aaron Judge and Juan Soto. Alvarez’s opportunity to win the vote at designated hitter opened up when Shohei Ohtani switched leagues in signing with the Dodgers.

Last year the Texas Rangers dominated the AL lineup with five starters. It was not an omen that they would go on to win the World Series. This year Arlington hosts the game at Globe Life Field, but Semien is the only Ranger anywhere close to the lead in the fan voting.

As for the one Astro All-Star maybe, that is Ronel Blanco. The 30-year-old has come out of nowhere to be the Astros’ ace, but he is not a lock. I don’t think his foreign substance suspension hurts much other than it factors into Blanco having pitched fewer innings than almost all other candidates. It’s a matter of math. A maximum of nine starting pitchers make the squad, there may only be eight taken. It’s not hard to name nine guys who could get the nod over Blanco, especially when you factor in that every team must be represented. Tyler Anderson is the most deserving Angel. Erick Fedde or Garret Crochet is the most deserving White Sox (Sock?). The Seattle Mariners have no deserving everyday player, though some might argue Cal Raleigh if three catchers are taken. The M’s are dominating the AL West on the back of stellar starting pitching. It’s hard to see no Mariner starter getting picked, although only Logan Gilbert at 2.93 has an earned run average within 0.50 of Blanco’s 2.43. Blanco has three more starts to strengthen his case before the staff is named July 7.

*Catch our weekly Stone Cold ‘Stros podcast. Brandon Strange, Josh Jordan, and I discuss varied Astros topics. The first post for the week generally goes up Monday afternoon (second part released Tuesday) via The SportsMap HOU YouTube channel or listen to episodes in their entirety at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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