‘Love Me or Hate Me!’ Houston Texans Rookie QB C.J. Stroud Reacts to MVP Buzz.
This is heady stuff, and Houston Texans rookie C.J. Stroud knows it … which explains why he’s trying to keep his head down while focusing on his continuing rapid development from being the No. 2 overall pick in last April’s NFL Draft to becoming …
A rookie MVP candidate? Really? Really. But …
“It’s been cool to be able to be in the (MVP) talk,” Stroud said. “But just like they love me this week, they’ll hate me the next. … So, I don’t try to look at that stuff.”
Stroud makes an excellent point about the fickle nature of the NFL audience … though “hate” is probably a bit too strong. And he makes an even better point about trying to avoid getting caught up in the white noise, even the white noise of praise.
But it truly is, to this point, all deserved. Stroud is leading the NFL in passing yards per game while only throwing two interceptions and is a central reason why Houston is a surprising 5-4 so far this year while looking for their third consecutive win on Sunday when they face the Cardinals.
The hope was that the Ohio State product Stroud would eventually blossom into being the Texans’ franchise quarterback for a decade or so, taking over from where Deshaun Watson once was.
But that is already becoming a reality, as the Texans are currently occupying an AFC playoff spot and have taken on the personality of Stroud, a sure bet for a Rookie of the Year award as he plays with a tricky combination of emotion and poise.
“It’s cool to have people recognize some of the things that I’ve done or — as a team, we’ve done. I don’t think it’s just me, but it’s really cool to see,” Stroud said. “(But) I try to stay even-keeled and just stay on the straight and narrow, and just work really hard and make my teammates around me better.”
So far, C.J. Stroud isn’t just “trying to do that.” He’s “doing it” – in an MVP-level manner.