The culture is key to keep for all future success with the Houston Texans

The future of the Houston Texans will be determined by how well DeMeco Ryans coaching transitions long term.
Houston Texans Mandatory Minicamp
Houston Texans Mandatory Minicamp / Tim Warner/GettyImages

Culture is key in football. How you run a team is important. As important as how well players run their assignments. As important as how well a team drafts. It's as important as anything, if not more so. Yet, while it's as important as anything, it's the key to the team's long-term success.

The Texans are looking at a window of having some cash to their name and being able to spread it around to a variety of top talent. Yet, once the contract on C.J. Stroud expires, he's going to command a massive deal. Especially if he just gets better. If he gets better, he'll likely break the record for the highest-paid quarterback once his rookie deal expires. When that happens, certain guys are going to be gone, and that money isn't going to be there anymore to spend on extra talent.

That's just the way the NFL is. It's quarterback-focused, with mediocre guys getting massive deals that end up hindering teams. Stroud isn't likely to be one of those cases, fortunately, but his contract is still going to demand that a certain amount of top players end up leaving the team.

Yet, that doesn't mean that Stroud's future will negatively affect the roster. The NFL and the Texans specifically get a nice helping hand every April when the NFL Draft comes to town. If Ryans is the guy to lead this squad and we have full faith that he is, those drafts will continue to sustain the growth and success of this team.

It's important that you draft the right guy, absolutely, but Ryans' culture and coaching philosophy will largely be the deciding factor in how long the "championship window" stays open. This is a large difference in former regimes as opposed to the one under Ryans. With Bill O'Brien, while he was a solid coach, he had a not-so-great reputation. He wasn't seen as someone who was widely respected by players and the media. Part of that is how he left Penn State to come to the Texans.

He spent two years in Happy Valley before moving to the Texans. He hung out a lot of players to dry by making that move so suddenly. So when you know as a pro that your coach will sell you out as fast as possible, you can't really build a report that fosters a successful atmosphere. O'Brien rubbed players the wrong way, case in point DeAndre Hopkins. O'Brien was successful as a head coach, we're not disputing that. Before Ryans, it was obvious he was the best coach in franchise history.

Yet, with his accolades with Houston, what couldn't be argued was that he never fostered a winning attitude. The team succeeded at times, in spite of O'Brien. That doesn't feel like the case with Ryans. He not only has a great rapport with the squad but continues to be a clever coach who can manage games better than most.

We could see a regression, but we're not expecting that. Our hopes are pretty high that Ryans is the coach we think he is. We're not the only ones who see the difference a decade makes either. The vibe is different. The energy is different. Things just feel different. That's because of Ryans and the culture he created.

2024 is going to be a wild year.