Future Hall of Famer raves about Texans scoring big with DeMeco Ryans

Texans DeMeco Ryans
Trent Williams loves the Texans' hire of DeMeco Ryans. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

Every new season brings new hope. Every team starts 0-0. There's renewed visions/delusions of grandeur. The Texans have hit the ground running this offseason. They're clearly on the road to recovery as a franchise. Gone are the depths of despair from the past few seasons. On the horizon are winning days, playoff appearances and more. The main reason for this optimism is new head coach DeMeco Ryans.

As a former player, DeMeco was always thought of to be a head coaching candidate. As he ascended the coaching ranks, he made quite the impact on his players. Take these tidbits from Fred Warner as a prime example:

Player development. That's the name of the game when you're trying to amass as much talent as possible in as short of time as possible to start a winning program. Teams won't always have cap space and draft capital to replenish their rosters. They have to get creative with coaching schemes as well. This reason is why I've always believed offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik was such an important hire. Here are my exact words from the column I wrote after the coaching staff was announced:

“Slowik is the one everybody is really looking at. As the offensive coordinator, he's expected to help guide the incoming rookie quarterback. As they interviewed head coaching candidates, the Texans let them know they intend to take a quarterback with the number two overall pick. That tidbit of info led me to believe the offensive coordinator hire is almost more important than DeMeco's hire. Almost. Key word. If Slowik develops this rookie quarterback into a top 10-15 guy within two years and the offense ranks in the same range, he'll be highly sought after.”

The way the game is being coached, played, and teams are being built today, offenses are taking more precedence. Slowik's work will be under a microscope. With the pieces in place on both sides of the ball, I think he'll succeed. Need more proof? Here's what 49er All Pro left tackle Trent Williams had to say about him:

Calling him “a brilliant mind” is very high praise from a former player and future Hall of Famer. You require those kinds of coaches on your staff. Hell, you need those kinds of people around you in life period! Having coaches like that on your staff that have had success in their previous stops AND have former players talk about them like that is how you start something special. General Manager Nick Caserio has to continue to supply the groceries so these chefs can continue to cook. The good thing is, these are the kinds of chefs that can take whatever you have in the kitchen and make a damn good meal!

DeMeco is a charismatic guy who can be the face of this franchise if necessary. CJ Stroud is the rookie quarterback who could eventually be that guy. If/when he is, Slowik will be the one to lead him to the Promised Land. When I said he'll be a sought after coach if he gets this offense ranked near the top half of the league, I wasn't joking. This team has been ranked near the bottom for too long. Any improvement will get eyes pointed and heads turning.

Where I think Slowik will show his genius is covering up certain deficiencies. A rookie QB behind a decent offensive line, with a good run game and some decent receivers, isn't exactly what some would call a supercar offense. This isn't the Chiefs and I'm not expecting them to be anywhere near that this soon. All they have to do is look competent and be competitive to improve. Anything beyond that will get people noticing much sooner. This is why I say they'll win at least six games this season, maybe more. The defense will play much better and this offense already has a ton more talent and creativity. It's time for Slow to move fast and get this offense in high gear. I'm ready to watch them work!

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With both Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers making their way back from surgeries that sideline that Astros pitchers last season, and given the team's thin depth in their starting rotation, Houston fans and media have waited on bated breath for scraps of information to leak out of the notoriously secretive organization regarding their progress.

In a week full of mostly Hurricane Beryl-related bad news, the Astros organization had some discouraging news of their own when manager Joe Espada told the media that Lance McCullers has been shut down from pitching after his arm did not respond well to his latest bullpen session. The team says they are "formulating a plan for what's next."

Another Astros starter making his way back from injury is HOF-bound Justin Verlander. Verlander has been on the IL since June 16th with neck discomfort and, while there was initial hope that JV would only miss a start, his status has become increasingly murky as he is still apparently not close to returning.

Shifting from the health questions of the starters to the performance questions of the bullpen, some Houston fans have voiced concern via social media that Astros big-ticket 9th inning pitcher Josh Hader is not looking like a "shut-down" closer. Hader gave up more home runs in the first week of July (3) as he did the entire month of June (2).

In this week's episode of Stone Cold Stros, Charlie Pallilo and Brandon Strange discuss how the fluid dynamics of Astros pitching is impacting the competitive landscape of the division race. To watch the conversation, just click the video YouTube embedded in this article. To listen to the entire episode on podcast, search "Stone Cold Stros" in your favorite podcast app or click one of the following links.

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