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DeMeco Ryans: C.J. Stroud's very calm, very confident, and everyone around him feels it

Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has played excellent football over the last two weeks to first lead Houston to a playoff berth and then a postseason victory.

The likely AP offensive rookie of the year, Stroud has long proven he belongs in the league. But his demeanor in his performances has stood out to head coach DeMeco Ryans throughout the season.

“C.J.’s been the same throughout the year. I’ve always spoke about his growth throughout the year — from Day 1 to where we are now — but he’s been consistent,” Ryans said in his Monday press conference. “I think throughout these past — throughout the past month that he’s been back from the injury, he’s just really been very calm. He’s been focused — he’s been laser focused, locked in. He’s been very calm, very confident, and I think everybody feels that around him.”

Stroud’s success has come with more eyeballs on the team, as the Texans didn’t play a standalone game this season until Week 18 against Indianapolis. That worked out well for the team, according to Ryans.

“[I]t’s important for everybody to see who we are,” Ryans said. “I’m happy we weren’t on primetime earlier when we had some growing pains to deal with there, and learning how to win. But, I think everybody’s just seeing — first off, they see C.J. and how he plays, how prepared he is when he steps on the field. And I hope everyone just sees a team that loves to play football, that finishes the right way, plays with high energy, because we have fun playing ball and I hope that’s what everyone sees and [hope] that everyone is dialed in to watch Houston Texans football.”

That will certainly be the case on Saturday afternoon, when Stroud plays his first road postseason game against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in Baltimore.