Deshaun Watson’s NFL education begins with the basics

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Quarterback Deshaun Watson has an NFL team and an NFL contract. He’s now getting an NFL education.

“We start him with what we call the basic information section of the playbook,” coach Bill O’Brien explained to reporters on Saturday. “How do we huddle? Where do you go in the huddle? If the Houston Texans are on this sideline, you’re on this side of the huddle. If you’re on this sideline, you’re on this side of the huddle. I mean, it’s that simple. It’s that detailed.

“Then it goes to how we call a play. What’s the verbiage of a play call? Obviously, our verbiage is a lot different than what he had at Clemson, and that’s the same for every rookie that is here relative to their college. It’s like learning a new language. That’s the way that I describe it to people that aren’t coaches and players. It’s learning a new language. It’s having to repeat it over and over again and then understand what it means, what each part of the play means to everybody in the huddle and then it’s what is the read of this play? Where are we directing this run? What type of defense are they in? I mean, it’s just like on and on and on.

“It’s just so much information that we throw at these guys, especially the quarterback position. But, as long as you keep plowing ahead and you take it one step at a time and you stick with it, you’ll learn it. But you have to repeat it, you have to stick with it, you have to study, and like I said, that’s any position.”

For now, the expectations for Watson are as simple as the approach to teaching him.

“Show up every day and get better,” O’Brien said. “Simple as that. Every single day, improve on the things that you need to improve on every single day. There’s always going to be something, whether it’s a play call or footwork or some type of decision at the line of scrimmage, that maybe you made a mistake on the day before or answered a question wrong in the meeting or whatever it is, let’s fix that. Let’s get better every single day. It’s a progress league. It’s about improvement every single day.”

Although Tom Savage is and, barring disaster, will be the starter, the Texans want to see Watson compete.

“I don’t have to say that to Deshaun Watson,” O’Brien pointed out. “He’s a very competitive guy. I mean, look what he did in college. The guy has only lost five or six games since he started playing high school football as a starting quarterback. So, I want everybody to compete. When you’re in this environment — I always say this to some of the guys — if you followed us around for a week, I’m telling you right now it’s probably one of the most competitive environments. I’d speak for any NFL team. NFL football is just an extremely competitive environment. Every minute of the day when they walk in the building here, it’s a competition. Whether it’s in a meeting, which is lower-key competition because we’re not physical in the meeting, obviously, or it’s in a walk-through or a jog-through or out at practice, it’s all about competition. I don’t think I need to say that to anybody in here.”

It can get frustrating to compete without a potential payoff. But if Watson’s competitive nature leads to production that causes everyone to realize he’s the best option for the team, then the Texans will have little choice but to adjust their approach. While that remains unlikely, five years ago the Seahawks ultimately knew that a third-round rookie was better than a veteran with a contract that paid out $10 million guaranteed.

Still, by making it clear Savage is the starter, Watson has no pressure. Or, more accurately, a little less pressure than the natural expectations that fall onto a guy for whom the team gave up two first-round picks to get.

20 responses to “Deshaun Watson’s NFL education begins with the basics

  1. The guy has only lost five or six games since he started playing high school football as a starting quarterback.
    ==================================

    Yeah, a starting quarterback who has never run a huddle or called a play.

  2. Every cloud has a silver lining. Even if Deshaun Watson is a complete bust, the good news is that it will accelerate the exit of Bill O’Brien.

  3. I HAVE NOT A DOUBT THAT WATSON WILL BE STARTING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT HE TEXANS LOOKING ANYMORE FOOLISH THAN THEY ALREADY DO…

  4. I am sure every team goes into this much detail with their rookies, but what is the purpose of the team publicizing it? It is like you are trying to embarrass him or something by making him look dumber than the average brick.

  5. I hope for Houston’s sake he isn’t eating all his meals at the Cheesecake Factory. I think he is going to be Vince Young 2.0.

  6. 1. See the ball.
    2. Hold the ball.
    2A. Do not drop the ball.
    3. Throw the ball.
    3A. Throw the ball to someone wearing the same color uniform as you.
    3B. Do not throw the ball to someone wearing a different color uniform than you.

    That should do it for week 1.

  7. Accelerate the exit of Bill O’Brien? Didn’t they have a winning record for the last 3 seasons and make the playoffs the last 2? With no legitimate quarterback? Trying to do everything possible to get a legit QB? …..I can only hope that I can learn enough about football to understand why this is a bad thing. Maybe someone can explain it to me.

  8. I don’t understand the negativity around Watson. He’s a lot closer to Russell Wilson than he is to Vince Young. He’s smart, competitive, and a natural leader. He’s the kind of guy you look for to be the face of your franchise. Give the kid a chance!

  9. Two first round picks for this guy? Yeah, no pressure there! No wonder coach is talking.

  10. deShaun will be a B U S T.
    Andy Reid and John Dorsey knew exactly that Watson will not last in the league. They moved up to take the ONLY QB in this draft that will be a Pro Bowl OB someday.
    Watson will be out of the league within 5 years.
    Trubinsky will be a career backup
    Kizer will be gone within 3 years
    Mahomes will win multiple championships for the Kansas City Chiefs and go into the Hall Of Fame

  11. tonebones says:
    May 13, 2017 6:27 PM

    Every cloud has a silver lining. Even if Deshaun Watson is a complete bust, the good news is that it will accelerate the exit of Bill O’Brien.
    ————————————————————-
    How many NFL coaches are better than O’Brien? Who would you want to replace him?

  12. vottorific says:
    May 13, 2017 11:11 PM
    Two first round picks for this guy? Yeah, no pressure there! No wonder coach is talking.

    _____________________

    Why is this idiotic narrative only assigned to the Texans by the sports media?

    Texans “gave up” 1.2017 & 1.2018 and GAINED a 1.2017. Every other trade, no mention of the first round swap or first round 2017 loss of pick, just the other picks. Bears. Chiefs. But not Texans. No respect. Get real.

    Texans are doing this right with Watson. Start with the basics of the NFL. They are not embarrassing him, they’re not better off with Kap, O’Brien is not getting fired, and barring injury, preseason collapse, or Watson surprising everyone, Savage will be starter week one.

  13. dee1006 says:
    May 14, 2017 11:50 AM

    Why is this idiotic narrative only assigned to the Texans by the sports media?

    Texans “gave up” 1.2017 & 1.2018 and GAINED a 1.2017. Every other trade, no mention of the first round swap or first round 2017 loss of pick, just the other picks. Bears. Chiefs. But not Texans. No respect. Get real.

    _____________________

    You’re right. They only gave the 1.2018 to move up (aka swap 1.2017 picks). It’s BS to say that they paid 2 1st rounders to trade up for Watson.

    The argument could be made that the Texans overpaid for him as a talent (according to draft pundits), but after the other 2 QBs came off the board, I don’t think he was going to fall much further. They pretty much had to go up to get a QB or be faced with Savage (or a low grade FA) as their starter and if that didn’t work – hope the stronger 2018 QB class produces an option for them.

    To move up the # of slots they did to 12, I think they paid the right amount (the 1st rounder next year). If they can match or beat this season’s performance, that would be one of the last 8 picks of the 1st round.

    As a Texans fan, I hope that Watson doesn’t see the field this year. That would mean Savage plays well and stays healthy. O’Brien would have the change the offense to play Watson this year. The full scheme is a 2 year education for just about any QB. Given that Savage has played in 5 games, been seriously injured 3 times (only twice in a game) and thrown 0 TD and 1 pick – I’m not terribly optimistic that he will make it through the season as the starter.

  14. fakebookfreddy says:
    May 15, 2017 3:50 AM
    Im just curious. Before they moved up to draft Watson, did the Texans ever meet with him, watch any tape on him, or was it Brocky Love?

    _____________________

    Yes, this time Watson met with all of the coaching staff and had dinner with some of his potential teammates. Stories I read indicate that O’Brien and his staff did a ton of research on him. Unlike with Brocky – O’Brian is sold on Watson.

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