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Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans brushes off rising expectations: 'We're always hunting' 

The Houston Texans went from novelty last offseason after making bold moves in the draft to surprising division winners in DeMeco Ryans' first season to expectations soaring in 2024 that they can compete for the AFC crown.

At the start of Houston's offseason program on Monday, Ryans dismissed that the expectations change coaches' or players' approach one iota.

"The expectations on the outside don't permeate inside our building," he said, via the team's official transcript. "For us, when everyone is really striving and putting the work in to be better. And that's what it's all about. We don't care about expectations. Talk doesn't win games. We have to go out and play good football when that time comes."

The recent trade for star receiver Stefon Diggs vaulted the Texans' title odds, making the C.J. Stroud-led group one of the top five teams expected to compete for the conference title. The Diggs addition provides pedigree to the offense, and even if he's fallen off a little, he is a proven playmaker who should be a dangerous weapon in Bobby Slowik's operation.

"We look at the guy's entire career, what he's done, how he's been productive," Ryans said when asked about Diggs' production waning late last season. "The guy has been an All-Pro player, he's been a Pro Bowl player, over 1,000 yards for multiple seasons. So, we're excited about adding Diggs to our team."

It wasn't just the Diggs trade that created headlines in Houston. The Texans inked Danielle Hunter to a big-money deal, signed linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, re-signed tight end Dalton Schultz and traded for running back Joe Mixon.

The moves, in totality, bring star power to a Houston club that found a star at quarterback and a promising edge rusher, Will Anderson Jr., in last year's draft. On paper, the Texans should be a dangerous and entertaining team in 2024.

Not that any of those words matter to Ryans.

"We're always hunting," he said. "That doesn't change for us. We're always hunting. Expectations on the outside, whatever they may be, it really doesn't change who we are."

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