Sean Pendergast

Houston Texans: 2023 Offense Overview

In 2023, Dameon Pierce is looking to build off of his solid rookie season in 2022.
In 2023, Dameon Pierce is looking to build off of his solid rookie season in 2022. Photo by Jack Gorman
There are a lot of reasons to get excited for the Houston Texans' upcoming season. (Honestly, the mere fact that I can type that first sentence of this post and not feel like I'll be laughed off the internet is actually one of said reasons) For me, the thing that excites me the most is the Texans' finally getting up with the times, and running some version of the Kubiak-Shanahan offensive system that was the foundation for this franchise's best offenses in team history back around 2009 through 2012.

With that said, here is a thumbnail sketch of the Texans' big storylines on offense, as we head into training camp in a few weeks:


4. Shaq Mason, RG
This was a very underrated pickup by Nick Caserio, as he stepped in, as the Bucs were about to cut Mason in a cap savings move, and acquired the 31-year-old guard for a Day 3 draft pick swap. Mason solidifies the right interior of the offensive line, and gives Kenyon Green someone to pattern his development after, not to mention a solid veteran next to a likely rookie center in Juice Scruggs. I wouldn't be surprised if Mason was one of the captains this season, as well.

3. Dameon Pierce, RB
Last season, Pierce was arguably the team's best player, and showed the makings of being what Bill O'Brien used to call "a heart and soul guy," someone who is the emotional barometer for a team. Pierce's toughness as a runner was legendary in his rookie season, when he ran for 939 yards in 13 games. This spring, Pierce has continually mentioned his desire to be a leader on the team. If he can stay healthy, he will be a leader rushing for about 1,300 yards!

2. Dalton Schultz, TE
Of all the pickups in free agency this past spring, Schultz is the one that made me sit up in my chair and think "Wow, there is some belief out there in what the Texans are putting together." Schultz signed here for the low, low price of $9 million for one year. I'm assuming he had many places where he could have gotten that deal, but he chose Houston. He is one of just four tight ends to have 40 catches and 500 yards receiving in each of the last three seasons. Schultz is an ideal security blanket for a rookie quarterback.

1. Laremy Tunsil, LT
Tunsil is the team's best and most decorated player, having made the Pro Bowl last season, and for that, Caserio rewarded him with another market setting contract. In 2023, Tunsila allowed just one sack all season. He is the ideal left tackle to have for C.J. Stroud as Stroud acclimates to life in the National Football league.

ACHILLES HEEL: Interior offensive line
Despite the pickup of Mason, the Texans are still operating the other two thirds of the offensive line's interior with VERY young players. Kenyon Green is coming off a rough rookie campaign and March knee surgery. and rookie Juice Scruggs should win the job at center, but he IS a rookie.

I love the selection of Dell where the Texans drafted him (69th overall). In this offense, the ability to run after the catch is crucial, and Dell is a beast in the open field, despite his diminutive (5-foot-8) stature. Dell should also be a factor in the return game, as well.

BIG QUESTION: What would be an acceptable season for CJ STROUD?
Statistically, assuming he plays most, if not all, of the season, I would say that something like 3,500 yards, 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions would be acceptable. For me, though, it's more about how Stroud performs situationally (third down, red zone, two minute drill) and what the trajectory looks like at the end of the season, i.e. "Is he improving as the season rolls on?" I think Stroud is absolutely built for success as a rookie, relatively speaking, and you could argue he is the most important athlete in Houston right now.

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast