Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud offered a strong warning to the rest of the NFL as his 1-2 Houston Texans prepare to host the 2-1 Pittsburgh Steelers this coming Sunday.
“We’re men, you know what I’m saying? We aren’t laying down for nobody, and I respect everybody,” Stroud said during his news conference, per Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk. “Like, if you made it to the NFL, that’s respect, and to play against a franchise that comes from winning — (Steelers head coach) Mike Tomlin hasn’t had a losing season, which I have a ton of respect for that guy. I got to talk to him during my pro day. A great dude, a great man, a great man of God…”
Stroud guided the Texans to what many saw as a surprising 37-17 victory at the 1-2 Jacksonville Jaguars this past weekend. Shortly after he notched the first win of his pro career, the 21-year-old told NBC Sports’ Peter King that the Texans can “win any game we show up to play” and that he is “nobody’s fish.”
According to ESPN stats, Stroud ended Week 3 ranked 10th among qualified players with a 98.0 passer rating and fifth in the NFL with 906 passing yards. He tossed four touchdown passes across his first three games.
“…You don’t tuck your tail for anybody, and you play with a confidence, but at the same time, you stay humble,” Stroud continued. “Definitely, that’s my M.O., staying humble but having that swagger [and] that confidence of a killer mindset while staying humble.”
As of Thursday afternoon, OddsChecker listed the Texans as home underdogs (+126, +2.5) for Sunday’s contest. Stroud and company will look to prove doubters wrong for a second consecutive weekend as the first-year pro continues to establish himself as a leader early into his promising career.