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Texans offense could reach new levels in passing attack with arrival of Stefon Diggs

It’s been nearly two months since the Houston Texans acquired four-time Pro Bowler Stefon Diggs from Buffalo and fans have been speculating his impact in the passing game.

Would the NFL’s leading receiver since 2020 take over as the new No. 1

Would his arrival ruin any conversation of a long-term agreement with Nico Collins?

How soon would Diggs be on the same page with reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud?

All those questions were answered by the final whistle late Thursday morning as voluntary OTAs ended. Diggs, who returned to Houston for the first time since workouts began, seemed comfortable fitting in whatever role was asked.

He joked with teammates. He offered advice to second-year standout Tank Dell. Even as a newcomer, Diggs looked like a veteran who knew everyone for years and was greeting friends after a long vacation.

“He’s been very successful in this league,” Texans receiver Nick Collins said. “For him to be in a room with us, just the success he had on the field is no better feeling. You can pick his brain — how he moves, how he thinks, how he comes off the line of scrimmage. Things like that go a long way.”

Everything is just on paper, but Diggs’s addition could bring the Texans’ passing attack to new heights in 2024. Yes, there’s plenty of mouths — or hands —to feed, but that didn’t deteriorate C.J. Stroud en route to an AFC South division title.

The weapons have also been upgraded and not just with Diggs. Pro Bowler Joe Mixon is starting at running back after seven seasons in Cincinnati. Dalton Schultz is back after a promising first season as Stroud’s go-to tight end. And Houston bolstered its depth with the addition of Ohio State pass-catcher and Stroud’s former teammate Cade Stover.

 

On any given day, one of six targets could be the No. 1 weapon for Stroud. For Diggs, while it might hurt his numbers, it should quench his thirst for winning, something offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik has noticed early on in meetings.

“He is a lot like (Stroud) in that he will do absolutely anything necessary to win the game, whether he doesn’t have the ball (or) he has the ball in his hands,” Slowik said.

Traded for a 2025 second-round pick, Diggs is only promised one season in Houston after the franchise elected to void his final three years. He could return to NRG Stadium next offseason, but it would likely come on a team-friendly deal after the Texans dished out a three-year extension to Collins worth $72.5 million Wednesday.

Those are problems for a later date. Right now, Slowik is worried about how the seventh-ranked passing attack can elevate to top-five status. His focus is on improving the 28th-ranked rushing attack with a hopefully improved Dameon Pierce.

“We have a quarterback that really gives us no limitations in that regard,” We can do all kinds of stuff to make sure that whatever we are calling and however we use guys, we are making sure they are doing their strengths.”

Diggs also offers another element to the passing game that differs from the rest of the targets. Collins, who last season finished with over 1,200 receiving yards, wins as a big-play receiver downfield. Dell, who was on pace to total over 1,110 yards before his second-ending leg injury, has speed that forces defenders to miss in space.

And Diggs? NFL film analysts have praised his route-running skills and ability to win at the point of attack. Throw in Schutlz across the middle and Mixon out of the backfield, where’s the missing link?

“It’s going to be hard for defenses,” Collins said.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire