Bill O’Brien raves about Deshaun Watson

AP

Deshaun Watson could become the exception to Bill O’Brien’s rule.

“I think that there’s no substitute for experience,” O’Brien said in April when discussing rookie quarterbacks. “So I think it’s hard to ask a guy to come in straight from college and Day One he’s a starter on your team. But I know that there are some really good quarterbacks in this draft that we’re looking at, and we’ve met with a lot of them. We’re excited about continuing to get to know them. But, I just think for me as a general rule, that’s tough to start them as a Day One guy.”

The Texans eventually decided that they liked Watson enough to trade up from the 20s to No. 12 to get him. O’Brien thereafter dubbed Tom Savage the starter, even if G.M. Rick Smith declared that there will be competition.

The question becomes whether the door is open for Watson to supplant Savage, sooner than later. On Tuesday, O’Brien declared that Watson “is ahead of any rookie quarterback I’ve ever been around.”

That hardly means Watson will be the Week One starter. But if Watson outperforms Savage — and if the players know it — O’Brien may have no choice.

Five years ago, when Russell Wilson became the starter in Seattle as a rookie, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was praised for having the courage to make the call. The ballsy move, however, would have been to go with veteran free agent Matt Flynn, because the players in Seattle knew that Wilson was the best option on the roster.

If that’s what the Texans players eventually think, the brave thing for O’Brien won’t be to abandon his preferences but to stick with them.

13 responses to “Bill O’Brien raves about Deshaun Watson

  1. I’m commenting here on the #39 jersey sales story from earlier because I know if I put the comment on that story no one will see it, already 90+ deep in comments.

    My question on the Kaepernick jersey…what team jersey is his name on? Are these still 49er jerseys? Atlanta? Green Bay? Indianapolis?

    How does an “unemployed quarterback” have a jersey available? Is it like generic food at the grocery story, black and while label? No team colors, no team patches or numbers. Just a shirt with his name on the back?

  2. I really don’t understand what happened with Watson this offseason. He was the best player in college football last year and looked NFL ready. However, after the season we saw his stock slip. Then the combine rolled around and he was clearly the best QB there and he was the number 1 guy again. Then some time passed and his stock slipped. Then all the QB’s had their pro-day and he was clearly the beat – better than Mahomes and Mitchell T. throughout, but after some time went by his stock slipped again. I don’t think it was even close between Mahomes, Trubisky, and Watson and I have no idea how Trubisky went before him in the draft. I am not a fan of Clemson or the Texans, but this kid has been nothing but solid in everything he does. I think he will clearly be the best QB out of the group – I have no reason to think otherwise.

  3. The great thing about Watson is that he has played really well on the biggest stage against a great college defense (Alabama). The notion that Trubisky or Mahomes deserved to be drafted ahead of Watson seems like guess work. They may turn out better. I just wouldn’t bet on it.

  4. 5 years ago I wouldn’t have given it a second thought but now that it’s a thing the velocity of his throws (i.e. 49 MPH) scares the bejeezus out of me. There’s only so much you can do to accommodate a lack of arm strength, right? If you look at his ball placement and completion % in college you’ll see he threw between the numbers 20+ yards downfield maybe 5 times (for his career!) and that the majority of his interceptions came on short to intermediate outs. Throwing down the middle of the field and having enough juice for out patterns are of crucial importance if one expects to be a successful NFL QB. Maybe I’m wrong and all can be explained away. He’s a fine young man but I have serious concerns about his future in the NFL.

  5. Watson has that rare leadership ability and ability to stay calm and perform in stressful situations. That is something you can’t teach. The NFL is still slow to accept that these qualities are more important than height and arm strength. That is why you still see Watson taken as the third QB this year, R Wilson in the third, Brees in the second, skinny Brady in the 6th. The cannon arm guy always gets the scouts hyped up then falls below average in expectations…J Russell can throw 60 yards from his knees, Mallett is a steal for the Pats, Cutler has the best arm ever, Gabbert might get drafted before Cam, J Locker is a physical freak, V Young is a rare athlete, Hope Mahomes fares better

  6. torethatbridgeout says:
    Aug 1, 2017 3:13 PM
    5 years ago I wouldn’t have given it a second thought but now that it’s a thing the velocity of his throws (i.e. 49 MPH) scares the bejeezus out of me. There’s only so much you can do to accommodate a lack of arm strength, right? If you look at his ball placement and completion % in college you’ll see he threw between the numbers 20+ yards downfield maybe 5 times (for his career!) and that the majority of his interceptions came on short to intermediate outs. Throwing down the middle of the field and having enough juice for out patterns are of crucial importance if one expects to be a successful NFL QB. Maybe I’m wrong and all can be explained away. He’s a fine young man but I have serious concerns about his future in the NFL.

    ————-

    Brady probably has the weakest arm in the NFL right now due to his age, yet he just won a SB. The year prior, another aged QB Manning won the SB. With the Texans defense, they don’t need much from a QB to win games. Watson can do that for the Texans.

  7. I don’t know if he’ll translate because whoever tells you they do with these spread guys is lying, but the one thing I’ve been impressed with on him since he came in during the FSU game for that terrible QB Clemson was starting when he was a true freshman ahead of him for a few games is that when you hit him in the mouth, he didn’t get rattled. You can’t teach that. If he can get the mental aspects of playing in a pro style offense, he’ll be great. He’s not a great deep ball thrower, but neither is Brady nor was Joe Montana. They did fine. His arm is good enough. It’s not a noodle.

  8. charliecharger says:
    Aug 1, 2017 3:04 PM
    Meanwhile, Bill Belichick says he can’t really evaluate players yet. It’s too early. Gee whiz, didn’t Belichick learn anything from O’Brien?
    =====================================
    I found that comment to be obnoxious and I’m a Belichick and Pats fan. First of all, Belichick is always evaluating. He found a new way of telling the press he won’t answer their questions. Second, Billy O’Brien is pretty sharp and I’ll take his word for it on Watson.

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