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Texans’ Will Anderson Jr on Texans surprising success this season, giving back to Houston community

The Texans won three games last season. Houston thanks to the pass-rushing talent of rookie standout Will Anderson Jr., the exceptional quarterback play of C.J. Stroud, and first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans’ ability to lead the team from the sideline. He has already won six games.

The Texans likely took a rebuilding approach heading into the 2023 NFL season, but their current winning record gives the team a realistic chance of earning a postseason berth.

Stroud and Anderson were the second and third overall picks in the draft earlier this year. The Texans are in the midst of an amazing season, but things didn’t start out smooth. Houston opened the season by dropping its first two games of the regular season.

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Will Anderson of the Houston Texans stands on the sideline during a preseason game against the Saints at Caesars Superdome on August 27, 2023 in New Orleans. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

But Anderson said they never panicked.

“I definitely would have liked a better start in September, but I never felt like the season was going to completely fall apart,” Anderson told FOX News Digital. “We stayed confident for the most part…we just continued to do what he does every week in terms of how we practice and prepare for the next game. We just stayed confident…consistent…and confident. I think it’s always important to maintain a positive mindset.”

Texans’ CJ Stroud stays focused during MVP talk: ‘As much as they loved me this week, they’re going to hate me next time’

Some of the doubts about this year’s Texans team likely stem from the team’s lack of success over the past few seasons. Houston finished the 2021 season with a 4-13 record and has since posted a 3-13-1 record.

This offseason, the Texans’ owner hired Ryans, the team’s third head coach in three years. Ryans spent the past few seasons as the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.

For Anderson, past failures don’t matter.

“The past is the past. I’m not worried about, ‘Oh, this happened last year,’ and the players who were here last year,” said the former Alabama standout and SEC Player of the Year. said the two-time Defensive Player of the Year.

“We’re like, we’re so focused on this year’s Texans, our 2023 Texans, we don’t talk about what happened last year. What we’re concerned about is this is our progress, this is where we are. It’s just that.” We still do that and I think that’s how we continue to be great and that’s the consistency and that’s just the beauty of it. ”

Will Anderson rushes the passer during an NFL game

Will Anderson Jr. of the Texans rushes the passer during a Jacksonville Jaguars game at NRG Stadium in Houston on November 26, 2023. (Cooper Neal/Getty Images)

Anderson recently worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star Greater Houston to encourage mentoring. Anderson expressed excitement at having the opportunity to give back, and he said he always strives to be a blessing to others.

“Houston…I can’t thank you all enough. Thank you to all the fans, people, and community for your love and support. I’m so excited to be here and to be able to give back to this amazing community. I’m very excited about it,” Anderson said.

“It’s a blessing. You have to give all the glory to God…God put you in this position to be able to bless you,” Anderson said. “That’s one thing I always prayed: ‘God, please help me always be a blessing and a servant to someone and shine my light on someone and help them’… Of course on the field, that’s true. It’s just a credit to the players in the locker room… “Everybody’s just out there, having fun, doing what they love…” How good is it on and off the field and with everything that’s going on? I can’t say enough about this, it’s all thanks to God.”

Now that the majority of the NFL season is in the rearview mirror, Anderson shared his thoughts leading up to the end.

“Keep being me. Keep growing. That’s all areas of my game. I’m not perfect at all. But the guys in the room helped me,” the up-and-comer said. the NFL star said. “The coaches are helping, and of course I’m doing my part to help myself. So I’m really just going out there with a desire to learn and perfecting my craft. It’s important to keep trying and improving every day in all areas. ”

Will Anderson jumped out of the tunnel before Texans game

Will Anderson Jr. of the Texans runs out of the tunnel before a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at NRG Stadium in Houston on November 5, 2023. (Cooper Neal/Getty Images)

This year’s Texans team is playing with a distinct edge, and Coach Anderson attributed that to the team’s overall desire to achieve greatness.

“Oh, I can’t say enough good things about this group of guys that play together every week… it just gives me chills, really. Everybody’s so hungry and so eager for nothing.” “It’s a chance to keep going out there and get better every week. ”

The 22-year-old also had high praise for the coach and quarterback, saying their good energy resonates throughout the team.

“Coach Ryans and CJ, their energy is contagious. They spread a very positive attitude and enthusiasm in the locker room, around the building, on the practice field, everything, and people feed off of that. It’s just a blessing to be a part of it and to see the culture that’s being built here,” Anderson recently told NFL Network.

“I don’t want to play with any other coach and I don’t want any other quarterback than CJ. I know the other players feel exactly the same way.”

Stroud has 3,266 passing yards and 19 touchdowns in 11 games so far this season. The 22-year-old said he’s trying to stay “calm” amidst the buzz of competing for NFL MVP.

“It was great to be a part of it.” [MVP] “But as much as they love me this week, they’re going to hate me the next week,” Stroud said in November. I try to keep my balance, stay on the straight and narrow, just work hard and try to make my teammates around me better. ”

From out kick: Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalists include two first-ballot possibilities.

After Houston’s five-point win over the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 19, Ryans praised Anderson’s impact on the team’s defense.

“Will has been a huge influence on our defense,” Lyons said. “He’s an impact player. Will plays the game with a relentless mindset. I love the way he goes after every snap. Talk about effort, talk about disrupting the quarterback.”

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The Texans have won three of their last four games. At 6-5, Houston is two games behind the Jacksonville Jaguars for first place in the AFC South. Despite losing to Jacksonville in Week 12, the Texans’ playoff hopes remain.

The Texans will host the resurgent Broncos in Week 13. Denver heads into the Dec. 3 matchup on a five-game winning streak.

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