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Texans legend J.J. Watt showers DeMeco Ryans and C.J. Stroud with praise

The future is looking bright in Houston.

Following a rise from the bottom of the AFC South to the top, the Texans look like a team with a ton of potential with former player and now head coach DeMeco Ryans and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud at the helm. They advanced to the divisional round of the AFC playoffs, too, after a big win over the Cleveland Browns but ran into a buzzsaw that is the Baltimore Ravens a week later.

Former Texans legend J.J. Watt concurred in an interview with SB Nation’s  Nick Schwager. Watt had nothing but positive things to say about his former team and former Texans teammate after the 2023 season.

“I think it’s an incredibly exciting time to be a Texans fan,” Watt said. “Obviously, DeMeco did an unbelievable job with that team. And any of us who knew DeMeco, knew exactly what he was going to do, and what he’s capable of, because who he is as a person, and also who he is as a football mind. He’s brilliant. He also has the ability to communicate and get his message across to players extremely well.

“And then you add in a quarterback like C.J., who not only has all the physical skills and talent to do everything on the field, but he also has the maturity and the leadership to handle that locker room to do everything the right way, along with in the locker room publicly and in his press conferences.”

The Texans have one of the youngest cores with Stroud and wide receivers Tank Dell and Nico Collins on offense with defensive end Will Anderson Jr. and cornerback Derek Stingely on defense. And with the third-most projected salary cap space in 2024 and the No. 23 pick in the NFL draft, Houston could fortify positions of need as it heads into next season.

But it all starts at the top with Ryans and Stroud. That duo proved to be key to the Texans’ quick rise in the league this past season, and their continued success will rely on Stroud’s prowess in the pocket and Ryans’ skill from the sideline. Houston could lose one of its top offensive assistants in Bobby Slowik or Jerrod Johnson, but Ryans showed he knows how to hire a good staff and would certainly be able to do it again if necessary.

“It’s a great combination, DeMeco and C.J.,” Watt added. “That organization is in good hands for a long time.”

Watt did stray far from the Texans after he officially retired after the 2023 season. He mentored Anderson throughout the year and was inducted into the Texans Ring of Honor earlier this year following a 10-year career in Houston from 2011 to 2020. He made five Pro Bowl and All-Pro rosters and was named Defensive Player of the Year three times.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire