C.J. Stroud, Tank Dell Reveal 3 Worst NFL Trash Talkers They’ve Faced

Getty Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud and wide receiver Tank Dell

As the Houston Texans navigated their success in 2023, opponents were trying to get in the heads of the team’s top rookies.

Quarterback C.J. Stroud and wide receiver Tank Dell named three — C.J. Henderson, Carlton Davis and Zaire Franklin — who really tested their mental toughness by talking trash.

Appearing on the June 2 episode of the “Million Dollar Worth of Game” podcast, Stroud and Dell did not reveal what their opponents but noted that Henderson is now a teammate after signing a one-year, $2 million contract.

In the Week 8 game between the Texans and Henderson’s Carolina Panthers, Dell was ineffective, catching 3 passes for only 16 yards while Henderson finished the game with 3 tackles.

Dell fared better against Davis and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Houston’s 39-37 win, tallying 6 catches for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns.

“Oh, yeah, Carlton was talking a lot,” Dell said without elaborating.

C.J. Stroud Puts 1 Linebacker in the Same Category as Henderson & Davis

GettyTexans quarterback C.J. Stroud

The 2023 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year stayed on the topic but did not mention a defensive back.

“He be talking about me all the time, and I know he gonna see this; I ain’t tripping him. Zaire Franklin from the Colts, No. 44. He from Philly, so that’s part of where it comes from. Bro got game but like, it’s smoke, I ain’t tripping like, bro talking about coming for you. I’m coming too, though.”

Franklin expounded upon his rivalry with Stroud during the May 7 episode of “The Green Light with Chris Long.” The seventh-round pick from Syracuse said, “I’m not gonna lie to you. I love C.J., man. I support all our young brothers at quarterback. But C.J., he been saying a lot of wild stuff to me in our run-ins at the Super Bowl. I need to see that boy again.”

The linebacker, who signed a three-year, $31.3 million extension with the Indianapolis Colts this offseason, claimed that the incident happened on Radio Row for Super Bowl 58. Franklin said, “He had the (Sirius) XM Radio right before me. He was on there about how he cooked the Colts in both games.”

Franklin pulled him aside and reminded him that while Stroud had 384 passing yards and 2 touchdowns, the Texans lost that Week 2 game and were down 28-7 at one point. The seven-season veteran doubled down, “Then I had to remind him as well that he’s never beaten Anthony (Richardson).”

In that context, Stroud told Dell, Gillie Da King, and Wallo267, “Now, we going to have another opportunity and we play him first game of the year. I’m excited. The Colts, playing at their place, it’s going to be rocking. Indy hates me already, and I love it.”

Tank Dell Shares Personal Goals for 2024 NFL Season

GettyTexans wide receiver Tank Dell

The Florida native felt he had a nice rhythm before the fractured fibula injury that ended his season in Week 12 against the Arizona Cardinals. “This happened to me, at first it kinda took me for a loop you know I was praying I’m like, ‘Why this happened?’ Because I feel like I was hitting stride right before it happened. It was like three, four games where I felt like I was just like going and going, and then this humbled me.”

Now that he’s healthy, Dell is ready to prove that his 709 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 11 games was no fluke. The former third-round draft pick already has specific numbers in mind.

“I already wrote them down, but I want 10-plus touchdowns. I want over 1,300 yards, which is going to be crazy because we got three of us, but we can all do it. Probably like 70-plus catches.”

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