C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans Warned of 'Rat Poison' Ahead of 2024 Campaign

The Texans quarterback and the rest of the squad are going to have to silence the noise in 2024.
Sep 17, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans shakes hands with quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 17, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans shakes hands with quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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The Houston Texans are hearing every bit of praise ahead of the 2024 NFL season, and its rooting from the emergence of budding superstar quarterback C.J. Stroud, who's coming off a phenomenal rookie season.

What comes with praise is what Alabama's Nick Saban used to refer to as "rat poison," a flagship term he used en route to seven national titles with the Crimson Tide before retiring this spring. Stroud and the Texans are going to be dealing with that next season, and ESPN's Ian Rapoport is warning them of such.

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Rapoport, during his time covering the Crimson Tide as a beat writer, became very, very familiar with the term and how Saban dealt with the constant praise.

"This is what's coming for the Houston Texans," Rapoport said. "It is, as a former Alabama superstar DeMeco Ryans knows very well, rat poison. It is endless people telling them how good they are."

Stroud strung together 4,108 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns and just five interceptions in 15 games a season ago. His elite rookie season has claims being thrown around that he could work his way into the same lane as some of the all-time greats.

"So, yes, C.J. Stroud is awesome," Rapoport continued. "The second year after the big success, these are the kinds of things this Houston Texans team is going to have to deal with. ...Everyone knows they're coming. Everyone knows how good they are."

How Stroud and the Texans approach the upcoming season and how they deal with the "rat poison" will be very, very telling for how the next era of football in Houston could go. It could be the difference as to whether or not the Texans are a perennial contender or not.

The Texans' expectations for the upcoming season are high, and Stroud is understood to have the potential to achieve as much as an all-time great quarterback.

Read More Houston Texans News

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• Who is Houston Texans' Most 'Underappreciated' Player on the Roster?

• Houston Texans' Tank Dell Claims C.J. Stroud Can Be Best QB In NFL


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Kade Kimble

KADE KIMBLE

Kade has been covering a wide variety of teams ranging from the NFL to the NBA and college athletics since joining Sports Illustrated's FanNation in 2022.