Since Bill O’Brien’s been the head coach of the Houston Texans, the team has suffered consistently from a lack of talent at what is the most important position in the NFL — starting quarterback. The Texans believe they’ve found their guy in Deshaun Watson, who took over at halftime of the 2017 season opener and was playing amazingly well until he went down with an ACL injury.
Sure, the Texans have had Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum, Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden, T.J. Yates, Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage over the course of O’Brien’s tenure, but, despite subsets of the fanbase being willing to crown every one of those players (well, maybe not Fitz, because we’d seen what he was and knew what we were in for), none of them were able to take the position and make it their own.
But now we’ve got Watson, and he’s coming back from a season-ending injury. O’Brien, whose reputation as an offensive mastermind has taken a hit given his repeatedly putrid offenses in Houston before Watson arrived, is all-in on his young QB, making it clear that Watson’s his guy (and, by extension, ours as well).
“You know how the reps are going to be divided. You’ve already had a year in the meeting room and more than that, really, because you’ve had a year and then the nine-week offseason program.”
“You’re not wasting time getting to know each other,” O’Brien said. “You know what the expectations are. I know what he expects from me, and he knows what I expect from him. There’s a lot to be said for getting into more of a normal routine, no doubt about it.”
For his part, Watson agrees that his time with the Texans has made it easier for him to develop as the starter, saying that “...being the starter, coming into the offseason and into a new season and being able to lead guys around me,” has given him the tools to improve his game and those of the rest of the offense. This should allow the Texans to hit the ground running and pick up where Watson left off last season.
The Texans begin training camp on July 26th in West Virginia.
What impact do you think having an established starter under center will have on O’Brien’s offense, RAC’s defense, and overall team morale? Are some of us too scarred from decades of Houston sports fandom to not be wondering when the ground is going to fall out from under us?