For Houston Texans signal-caller C.J. Stroud, yesterday's preseason action did not pan out as he had hoped. While the team came away with a victory in Foxborough, Stroud struggled in his first taste of game action.
The rookie played a couple of series against the Patriots, completing two out of four passes for 13 yards and an interception, while being sacked once. It was a less-than-ideal start for the 21-year-old, who came into the night with high expectations.
Despite the rough go, the learning experiences for the rookie was one that he took to heart. Talking to local media following the game, Stroud made clear that while he didn’t bring his best stuff, there is still plenty to learn from.
“Of course, I’m not super excited about how I played,” Stroud told local media following last night’s contest. “I didn’t get to play a lot, but. Just get my feet in the water, learn from my mistakes, and just keep growing.”
On his lone interception, Stroud stared down his intended target, Tank Dell, leading to an easy read from Patriots defensive back Jalen Mills. When asked about that play, Stroud already showed an understanding of what he had to do differently moving forward.
“Just trust my eyes,” Stroud said. “I’ve seen a certain look to where I knew in film that they could run that. To where the safety, if his man blocks, that he’ll come off, and really be locked into my eyes. And just lost track of that, and just forced it, should have just checked it down to Dalton [Texans tight end Dalton Keene] but it was a great play by two [Patriots defensive back Jalen Mills] like kind of just hiding out. He was kind of ducking low so I didn’t really see him. Thought I threw a good pass but of course it wasn’t. Hell of a play by no. 2 and just put that in my back pocket and learn from it.”
Rookie hurdles are expected out of young signal callers and Stroud is no exception. What matters is how you handle those moments and use them as learning opportunities. For Stroud, the motivation to fix his mistakes is there.