With Deshaun Watson on board, what if Tom Savage thrives?

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For months, the Texans have been trying to rectify the mistake that was made when the team signed free-agent quarterback Brock Osweiler. Most recently, they traded up in round one to get quarterback Deshaun Watson, the player they hope will become the first true franchise quarterback in franchise history.

G.M. Rick Smith, who has been on the job for 11 years now, joined PFT Live on Tuesday to discuss the decision from a variety of angles and perspectives, including one that could fall into the “good problem to have” category: What if Tom Savage stays healthy and becomes a really good player in 2017?

Depending on what Savage’s performance means for the team, the Texans may have to delay Watson’s ascension to the job for a year, maybe longer. In the end, it could be that the Texans had the right guy all along right under their noses.

That’s likely a long shot, but Smith said he would embrace it, based on the spirit of competition the team is trying to build. Still, when much has been invested in a young quarterback, an urgency arises to play the young quarterback. Which sets the stage for an awkward situation, if Savage finally thrives.

In that case, the Texans would indeed call it a “good problem to have.” But, really, the only good problem to have is no problem at all.

31 responses to “With Deshaun Watson on board, what if Tom Savage thrives?

  1. Savage is going to thrive,most of us saw that from day one Every preseason since he’s been here,he has outplayed every qb on the roster.Two years ago IMO he out played Hoyer and Mallett by miles during the preseason,the offense looked real good with him in there.The Jacksonville game last year when the Texans were down 13 points before he came jn showed how good be was.His numbers for 2 and a half quarters were outstanding. I really thought O Brien would pull Oseweiller in the NE playoff game, I would have loved to seen savage come in he would have caused the Pats problems. Watson won’t be the starter and may not play unless Savage gets hurt.

  2. Osweiler is going to turn out to be a good NFL QB, and Watson is going to be a bust. Houston just can’t get this position right. Savage is not going to become a good QB. He’s a 3rd stringer at best, but he’ll beat out Watson. I don’t know why Houston thinks bad college QBs are going to miraculously turn into good pros. Houston, we have a problem!

  3. You make it sound like a bad thing. That sounds like a problem most Texan fans would give up BBQ for! If (pretty big if) Savage turns out to be a legitimate/elite passers or somewhere in between, they can just trade him or Watson to the Bears for a haul of picks who will likely be in the market for a pro-bowl QB by that time.

  4. Idk I think Schaub played very solid for them. I mean yeah if your “franchise QB” bar is Brady, then no, Schaub was not, but he gave them solid stability and brought them many playoff seasons. Something a lot of teams (cough, my Vikings, cough) would wish for. Thought we had one in Teddy. Only Vikings, man. (Or Bills or Browns of course).

  5. Savage has played a total of what, two and a half games? He looked ok in ONE of those games. The Bengals game was a joke and he needlessly got injured due to a stupid qb sneak in a game that didn’t matter. He’s a glorified rookie that knows the allegedly complex system O’Brien utilizes. Qbs aren’t the issue, coaching is and it doesn’t matter who is throwing rhe ball, oBrien ruins them all

  6. Why would they have ever signed Brock O if they ever felt even an inkling of a feeling for Savage in this way??

    p.s. this is coming from a Tom Savage fan, they should have given him the ball over signing Brock in the first place!

    I don’t understand how Rick Smith still has a job, he came across as pretty incompetent on Hard Knocks.

  7. Rick Smith is the worst GM in the NFL. The fact that he still has a job makes me think he has blackmail evidence on the McNairs. The drafting of Deshaun was a hail mary for his job.

  8. This is like asking about what tv ratings will be if the Bills and Browns meet in the AFC Championship game. It would be interesting, but there is no way it happens.

  9. Of course, Savage is going to thrive because he’s in a contract year. The Texans will finally have a Top-15 QB, but they’ll be forced to use the franchise tag if they want to keep him. That will be a tough decision with a guy like Watson ready to step in.

  10. “But, really, the only good problem to have is no problem at all.”

    Correct. I’m a Browns fan. Derek Anderson was 10-6 with rookie Brady Quinn on the bench and the pressure from fans and the front office imploded it all. Bryan Hoyer was 7-3 with Manziel on the bench and the pressure (and texting to the sidelines) imploded it all.

    Texan fans, from experience, of all the scenarios you do not want this. Bad things will happen.

  11. It’s like what happened when the Chargers drafted Eli Manning (and traded him for Phillip Rivers) and they wondered what if this Brees guy turns into something.

  12. What a weird hypothetical, and a strange conclusion (that it would be a “problem” to have both a thriving veteran and highly regarded rookie at QB).

  13. Watson threw more interceptions against college level talent last year than​ Osweiler did against NFL level talent.

    Watson threw more interceptions in the past two years than any other FBS QB.

    Watson threw these interceptions while running an offense that is used by virtually no NFL teams and is designed to limit QB mistakes.

    Watson has the third weakest arm (45 mph ball velocity) of the 136 QBs to throw at the combine in the past decade.

    Of the last 20 QBs to lead their college teams to national championships, only 5 have winning NFL records.

    But hey, he’s a hella runner.

    Let’s hope Savage plays well, because the odds are against Watson succeeding in the NFL.

  14. Stupidest premise for an article ever! If Savage is better than anticipated all the better. No let’s hope he sucks, then the decision is easy. How stupid is that logic……

  15. Deshaun Watson landed in a great spot. He’s not the front runner for the starting QB job, yet he’ll likely earn it. He’s a yes sir kid. Who’s coachable and a winner. He and O’Brien will get along fine.

  16. I’m a life-long Texans fan, and I would love for the team to have this problem, but I really can’t see it happening. Tom Savage looked great when pressed into mop-up duty, but what became very evident is that he struggled once teams were able to properly game-plan for him. I don’t think he’ll ever be more than just an adequate backup.

    It would shock me if Deshaun Watson isn’t our Day 1 starter.

  17. Trade Watson. That’s an easy question to answer.

    If Savage thrives there is no roll the dice and see if Watson might thrive in the future to an even higher degree of thriving.

  18. Ideally Savage does thrive. We can then franchise him or re-sign him while Deshuan gets to learn on a rookie contract. Barring colossal failure by Savage letting Watson sit a year or two could possibly be ebst case scenario for our new QB.

  19. The Texans gave up FAR-FAR-FAR to much for DeShaun Watson. Watson has a weak noodle arm w/ the weakest arm of all QBs @ the combine clocking just 49MPH on radar throwing in the velocity test portion of the workout. Next weakest arm thru 54MPH. Watson also has accuracy issues & u cannot teach/coach accuracy, makes poor decisions and throws to many INTs!!!!
    The Texans should of just added an Elite Defensive prospect making what is an Elite top 5 defense even better & then drafted someone like QB DeShone Kizer in round 2 or QB Nathan Peterman in round 3-4 who comes out of a Pro-Offense and is very accurate who reminds me of Cousins. I personally think Kizer is a better QB than Watson right now w/ an Elite arm to boot & has A FAR HIGHER All-Pro Caliber Ceiling!!! Houston will still be looking for a QB 3-4 years grin bit.

  20. With the modern rookie cap and wage slots, it’s not a huge hit if your first round pick doesn’t become your starter. It’s nice if he does, but it doesn’t kill a team’s budget. If Savage does well, and I expect he will, then they will be successful and won’t care what round the backup QB was drafted. Media cares more about that sort of stuff than teams do.

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