The greatest Houston Texan ever born, Justin James Watt, has no interest in going through a prolonged rebuilding process. With Father Time knocking on the door, the elder statesman of the Texans’ locker room is all about Houston going all in very, very soon to deliver a Super Bowl to the great city of Houston.
I don’t think it’s any secret that I don’t have 10 years left in this league. I personally believe that I do have a few more great ones left in me. But you also can’t ... I’m not looking to rebuild. I’m looking to go after a championship, and that’s what I want to do.
When asked about the long haul in the wake of his teammate’s remarks, Deshaun Watson told reporters on Wednesday he wants to be part of the effort to get this team back on track.
I want to be involved in the process, being the franchise quarterback, with what the organization, what we want to be here exactly, the foundation and the people that’s going to be running this team and this organization.
While Houston’s offense is showing sparks of greatness and is probably one offensive play-calling genius away from being one of the best in the league, the other side of the ball has some pretty substantial issues to address between now and the day this team returns to playoff quality performances. The Texans’ defense is currently ranked third-worst in the NFL in yards given up per game at 417.6. Their run defense is second-worst, coughing up 156.9 yards per outing (thankfully the Dallas Cowboys are worse). Houston’s pass defense is actually outside the bottom ten, coming in at twelfth-worst, with 251.7 yards per game surrendered. Unfortunately, that’s skewed greatly by Houston’s total inability to stop the run. Why put wear and tear on your quarterback’s arm when you can just run the ball all day?
With Bill O’Brien’s oblivious approach to improving the defensive roster, it’s no wonder the Texans can’t stop a Pop Warner offense from scoring. In fact, the Texans are one of just four of teams to average more than 30 points scored against them each and every week. Granted, some of that came against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, Ben Roethlisberger and the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, and Aaron Rodgers and the high-flying Green Bay Packers. Replace those three teams with the New York Jets, Detroit Lions and Washington Whatevers, and Houston’s defense might not look quite so bad.
Yet NFL history is littered with stories of coaches taking a team with less talent than Houston currently has and putting them in positions to win. Building what you do around the geniuses on your team is how you win and win now. Surround Watson with the right players, call the right plays, and play situational football, and Houston’s offense will shine. Surround J.J. Watt with players who allow him to do what he does best, while scheming to make the most of that, and calling the right plays at the right times could make a world of difference. While you can’t make up for the poor play of guys like Vernon Hargreaves III, Ross Blacklock, David Johnson, Brandon Dunn and... sadly... Whitney Mercilus, putting those players in positions where you’re not asking too much ask of them would make the defense a lot better.
A coach like Vince Lombardi, Chuck Noll, Tom Flores, or Bill Belichick could easily get a lot more from this roster than Bill O’Brien ever did. If the Texans can bring in a smart general manager who can make the proper tweaks, the right head coach who can put all the players in winning situations, Watt and Watson can will the team to win enough of those “lucky ball bounce” plays. Your Houston Texans could be back in the hunt in 2021.
Have faith. In Watt we trust. Watson too.