AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith
Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans remains undecided on who will be the starting quarterback for Week 1 of the NFL regular season after Saturday’s 28-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
“We have a starter in Baltimore,” he told reporters. “Same as I said before. You’ll see the starter when we get to Baltimore.”
Most fans are hoping first-round draft pick CJ Stroud gets the nod over Davis Mills, and Ryans may have spilled the beans when addressing the situation earlier this month. He mistakenly told NFL Network’s Jane Slater and Tom Pelissero that Stroud would start against the Baltimore Ravens, Houston’s Week 1 opponent, before correcting himself.
Stroud went 2-of-4 for 13 yards and an interception in the Texans’ 20-0 loss to the New England Patriots. His performance improved a bit against Miami as he finished 7-of-12 for 60 yards.
Ryans said the rookie quarterback’s passes are “accurate” and “come out at the right time.”
“So it’s encouraging to see him from Week 1 to this week, to see the improvement, just overall to see him more comfortable, and I’ve seen him enjoy playing,” he said.
Mills hasn’t really broken through, with 193 passing yards and one touchdown in his 34 attempts in the preseason so far, and he’s flattered to sneak into 2022 as the full-time starter. You know what you’re getting when he leads the offense again in 2023.
If only for that reason, Stroud’s confidence is justified.
Houston’s preseason finale against the New Orleans Saints on Aug. 27 may provide more insight into Ryans’ mindset.