The Bucks don’t play the 49ers until Week 11, but this Sunday will be a warm-up game against the Texans. During the offseason, Houston hired defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and passing game coordinator Bobby Slawik from San Francisco as head coach and offensive coordinator, respectively. If that’s not enough, they’re starting to scheme their players in a similar way to the 49ers. That includes rookie quarterback CJ Stroud, who had an efficient rookie season.
While the Texans aren’t quite at the 49ers’ level as a powerhouse team, they are starting to build a foundation with notable similarities, starting with their coaching staffs.
Similarities between the 49ers and Texans start with Houston’s defensive-minded HC
After seven games, it’s clear the Texans have head coach DeMeco Ryans, who is a clear upgrade over Lovie Smith. Ryans was a two-time Pro Bowl linebacker during his time with the team and was hired to help breathe life into a franchise that was in the midst of a recent dark period. The Texans haven’t won more than four games since 2019 and went just 3-13-1 last year under Smith.
After firing the former Bucs head coach, Ryans was the clear favorite from the get-go based on his roots and defensive background. His identity began to take shape in Houston last season, when he oversaw a 49ers defense that ranked No. 1 in yards and points.
Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales knows a thing or two about the problems the offense could face Sunday, having coached against Ryans during his time with the Seahawks. A lot of what worked for him with the 49ers carries over to the Texans.
“The crossover is that he’s trying to be a leader first,” Canales said.Up front, they are a break-through defensive line – whether they are nose tackles or three, they fire the ball.[-technique] Or the edge. That’s the crash nine technique. If you look at the beginning of the season, I don’t think they really understood what he really wanted from them. He’s watched a couple of games recently and just thinking about Pittsburgh, they were shooting the ball. They are playing with blocks.
“What you’re starting to see from them is their structure, not a lot of complex structure, but there’s an improvement in their communication. All season long, they’re team tackling, they’re all collective tackles. Look. If you look, you can see that it’s very difficult to score touchdowns in the red zone because they play defense and everyone swarms around the ball and rallies. You see the same signs of the way they play. As far as philosophy and style, he’s definitely guiding them toward what he’s looking for and what I’m used to seeing in San Francisco.”
The Texans’ defense will be without Nick Bosa and Fred Warner, but there is new talent emerging on that side of the ball. With the third pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Houston selected highly touted pass rusher Will Anderson out of Alabama. Pairing with Anderson is Jonathan Greenard, who has six sacks already this season.
Inside linebacker Blake Cashman has garnered attention and is rated as one of the best linebackers in the NFL this season. Cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. and safety Jalen Pitre are both highly touted sophomore players. Stingley was selected over Sauce Gardner last year and is still developing, while Pitre recorded 147 tackles as a rookie. Transforming into a top unit right away won’t happen overnight, but the foundations are in place for years to come.
Texans have found their own offensive playmaker
More young talent is emerging on offense, and the Texans’ playmakers are being utilized in a similar manner to the 49ers. Under Bobby Slowik, the Texans began unearthing their own versions of many of San Francisco’s weapons. Slowik has learned a thing or two from offensive guru Kyle Shanahan since 2017.
“We have to look at them and see the similarities,” Rogers said. “Because if you look at last year’s game against San Francisco, a lot of the schemes were the same carryovers. We were looking at them using them. [Tank] Dell likes Deebo [Samuel], so to speak, is how to use him in a jet sweep. When he comes in, they can use him in the backfield and they can toss him up. [Nico] Collins – He’s worked really, really hard.he is like them [Brandon] Aiyuk in the way they use him. He makes really big plays and stretches people on the field, but short corners have had issues because of his length. Luckily, we have a long corner, but he’s really stepped up.
“It’s the same thing we were talking about with all the weapons and how to use them. On the team, everyone has a role and everyone executes that role. They have unique schemes and , what you like about them and what you appreciate about what they do is the way they utilize their work.”
Nico Collins and Tank Dell were pleasant surprises for the Texans, so it’s no surprise that Rodgers tied the score with Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.Go Long’s Tyler Dunn Recently recorded in detail, Collins’ star is on the rise. Dell was something of an elusive player who was a dominant force for the Houston Cougars in college.
It’s easy to see why they’re already being compared to one of the better wide receiver duos in the league, as Collins is a physical weapon with a knack for big plays and Dell is a Swiss Army knife that’s tough to take down. I understand.
Bucks face ‘very disciplined’ rookie QB CJ Stroud
It sounds like the Bucs are doing their due diligence, but their defensive game plan will need to focus not only on limiting wide receivers, but also on players throwing the ball.
He wasn’t too shabby either.
C.J. Stroud, the No. 2 pick in this past draft, has impressed so far with his decision-making and poise, which is rare for a rookie quarterback. If there’s anyone Bucs fans remember, it’s 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. When Purdy made his first NFL start last season, he looked like a grizzled veteran, contributing to a 35-7 victory over the Bucs. Things haven’t changed for Stroud, and Tampa Bay coaches and players alike took time this week to talk about his early success.
“I know he’s going to be coached very hard in a system that’s very similar to what he had in San Francisco,” Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales said. “They ask the quarterback to be very disciplined. Read the initial progression and then check it out. That’s what you see from C.J. — he plays smart football and takes care of it. It’s being distributed.
“On top of that, he’s a really talented passer. He takes advantage of some of the shots he has downfield. I’m not surprised, but coming in with such maturity and discipline, You’ve never seen a rookie play like that. Brock Purdy did it in San Francisco and I see C.J. doing some of the same things.”
Inside linebacker Lavonte David gave a similar assessment of Stroud. “The crazy thing is, he’s not playing like a rookie quarterback,” David said. “He’s very calm in the pocket and can make all the right decisions and make all the right pitches. He knows where guys should be.
“he [doesn’t] He makes the same stupid mistakes that rookie quarterbacks tend to make. He controls that offense really well. They have a great team around him, a great running game and a great offensive line that protects him really well. He is definitely living up to his contract as the No. 2 overall pick. ”
From the coaching staff to the playmakers on both sides of the ball, it’s clear the Texans are heavily influenced by the 49ers. They are no longer the pushy opponents they once were, and are now a formidable opponent for the Bucks to not take lightly on Sunday.