Houston Texans Staff
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin on Head Coach DeMeco Ryans and the Texans: "Can't say enough about DeMeco and what he's doing, the foundation that he's laying. I see it. It is tangible. They're a fundamental group, they play hard, they don't make a lot of mistakes, they don't kick your own butt, and they're growing. Not a lot of splash plays. They keep the ball in front of them. They're really tough against the run. They make you operate over the course of drives as opposed to splattering of big plays. They communicate well. They adjust very well. I think the small menu allows those things to happen. They're not going to kick their own butts as I mentioned. And so, that's the challenge, again on that side I've seen growth over the last three weeks on that side as well regardless of the outcome of the games. And so, although last week can be an attention grabber going on the road and handling Jacksonville the way that they did. Really all the tape has our attention. I see personality. I see division of labor. I see foundational things happening and increasingly so with each snap, passing snap, and each passing game."
Steelers Quarterback Kenny Pickett on Ryans: "He's a great coach. Did an unbelievable job at San Fran now he's doing a great job in Houston."
Tomlin on Texans Defensive End Will Anderson, Jr.: "Man, Love Will Anderson. Really talented guy. We go to Tuscaloosa the night before the Pro Day. We invite guys out to dinner and oftentimes a guy in Will Anderson's position turns us down respectfully on that dinner invite. He realizes the pick that we had and where he was projected to go. Man, he came to dinner. He sat to my left, we talked ball all night. Engaged, loves football, got a desire to be great, asked awesome questions for a guy in that position, passionate about the game, it just showed through. So, I'm not surprised with what I'm seeing from him. The guy that was sitting on the other side of me at that dinner was Brian Branch, the safety from the Detroit Lions and if you look at the quality of his play, I'm not surprised by that. Both guys engaged, great questions, taking advantage of the opportunity to get to eat with a guy like me and extracted as much information from me as I extract it from them. And so, when guys behave like that, and do some of the things that he did, I'm not surprised when they're the type of players that they are. I remember years ago, Kevin Colbert and I invited Jalen Ramsey out to dinner when we were in Tallahassee, we fully expected him to turn down our meal. He didn't. He came, he asked great questions in a very similar way and look at how his career has turned out. And so, there's talent sometimes that creates draft position when I see passion for the game and an energy for the game and intellectual development and seeking the knowledge and some of that stuff. That's the things that make freakish talent turn into freakish play. And so, I'm not surprised with the success that he's having. Based on my experience with him or Brian Branch in Detroit for that matter."
Pickett on the Texans defense: "They got great speed at all three levels. They do their fundamentals really well. They don't do a ton I'd say schematically but what they do they do really well. They don't give up big plays. They keep things in front. You know, great,great defensive mind in the head coach and a young pass rusher that's shown a lot of talent early on. He's going to be a problem, so all three levels have great players. We have to bring our best Sunday."
Tomlin on Texans Quarterback C.J. Stroud: "Stroud is doing an awesome job. He looks mature beyond his years. He looks like a guy that just wore the responsibility of being a franchise quarterback at Ohio State. Some programs are different than others and you do it for multiple years at a place like that man, it's probably very similar in terms of wearing the responsibility of being a quarterback for an organization at this level. He doesn't appear to be overwhelmed by it at all. He manages himself in game and out of game with a maturity level that's impressive. He's good at extending plays. He's not just a runner when he starts to escape, his downfield vision is excellent as he extends. He's done a nice job of utilizing a bunch of eligibles and even absorbing some of that attrition component that we were talking about. They do a good job of keeping him out of adverse, one-dimensional circumstances like behind the chains is a component of it. He's experienced beyond his years, being a quarterback at Ohio State is a component of it, in my opinion. And then his mobility, his prudent use of mobility, the fact that he can extend plays and still keep his eyes downfield and still manage negativity is another component of it."
Steelers Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin on Stroud: "He takes care of the ball. He does a good job, I think, in terms of getting rid of the ball, getting out of his hands. He's had some sacks. When you look at it overall, he really is doing, I think, a really good job. He doesn't look like a rookie when you watch him play. They're letting him be a quarterback. I think the thing they're doing well is playing to his strengths. He's looking at some -- they get a lot of four-wide looks. And he's able to get the ball out. And he's able to get it to the right guy, get it in terms of his ball placement really good. And I think that's why you see them spreading the ball. If he was inaccurate and couldn't do it, they'd be hunkered down and running the ball. He can do it. So, he's doing a good job."
Tomlin on the Texans wide receivers: "Got a lot of nice eligibles to work with. (Nico) Collins man is a big combat catch dude, and he makes those type of plays. (Tank) Dell is a speedy up the field guy that's tough to manage. Robert Woods is the veteran in the group, a possession down target. A steady veteran presence if you will. Probably provides the same demeanor that Allen Robinson provides us in terms of his experience."
Tomlin on Texans RB Dameon Pierce: "Really getting familiar with him being a young guy. I love his play demeanor and his style of running. It's really conducive to the pile falling forward and staying on schedule. I think that's one of the reasons why C.J. has played extremely well."