Bill O’Brien has measured praise for Deshaun Watson

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Maybe the coach doesn’t want his rookie to get a big head. Maybe the coach is still spoiled by his time with Tom Brady. Either way, Bill O’Brien was measured in his praise of quarterback Deshaun Watson after his first start.

“It wasn’t perfect,” O’Brien told reporters after the 13-9 win. “He did some good things. It will be a lot to learn from. We’ll watch the tape.”

One good thing was Watson’s 49-yard touchdown run, which came two snaps after Bengals defensive lineman Geno Atkins nearly blasted Watson all the way back to Clemson.

“It was a good play,” O’Brien said. “He didn’t see anything open down the field and they were in a Tampa coverage. He saw it and he took off. He can run, and he’s a very instinctive runner. He did a nice job on that play. . . . That’s one of the things you’ve seen throughout his career at Clemson, and what we’ve seen in the preseason here. He just has that ability and that knack. Sometimes he has to do a better job with it. Sometimes the journey is over and he wants to keep it going. I thought overall he did a nice job and he was smart with the ball.”

Watson completed 15 of 24 passes, with 13 targets fired in the direction of receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who caught seven passes for 73. Watson also led the team in rushing, with 67 yards on five carries.

O’Brien wasn’t asked about the indirect blowback from quarterback Tom Savage, whose agent questioned the decision to bench Savage after only 30 minutes of football, but O’Brien generally addressed the decision to go with the rookie

“It’s just making decisions in the best interest of the team,” O’Brien said. “I really care about what the guys in that locker room think, and I talked to some of my assistants to see what they thought and a couple of other guys, and made a decision. I just try and make decisions in the best interest of the team.”

The decision led to a win on Thursday night, ugly as it may have been. And now the process of getting him ready to start more games will continue.

16 responses to “Bill O’Brien has measured praise for Deshaun Watson

  1. He was poised and has potential, but none of these puff pieces mention the 2-3 dropped layup pick-sixes that would have resulted in a 23-10 or worse final score and articles calling for Savage.

  2. DeShaun Watson put his team on his back and carried them to a win. It’s just that simple. On the night that half the defense was injured and all-world defender, J.J. Watts, played sub par ball, continually letting Dalton get on the edge, to pass down field.

    The training room will be full, but at least they have time to get treatment before the next game. Watson will continue to get better, as time goes on and he will continue to shut up people who want him to fail. Twice he beat the brakes off Alabama, kept his head down, until he achieved success. He’ll do the same thing in the NFL. The hue of NFL, high school & college QBs is changing too rapidly for a certain ilk.

    The game is evolving and so must the players. Watson represents that change. If you don’t like it, grab your remote.

  3. O’Brien has little choice – although scramblers are headed back out of fashion he needs a highly mobile QB because the O-line is injury hit and very porous. Watson looked promising but hard to judge because Cinci are so bad at the mo (apart from Dalton’s coverage skills at safety after the interception).

  4. Not sure what to think of Watson. He’s definitely a gamer, but his arm strength is kinda lackluster for the pro game. It will be interesting to see how he develops.

  5. Watson did ok. He’s a rookie so it was expected for him not to be great. The Texans D looked good but their offense overall is horrible.

    Bill O’Brien won’t be coaching their next year so there is hope for the Texans in 2018.

  6. If it’s a confused and disappointed starter-suddenly-turned-backup QB, it just may be the Houston Texans.

    If it’s a starter thrust awkwardly into duty without adequate preparation, protection, or support of the coach, it just may be the Houston Texas.

  7. gator2006 says:
    September 15, 2017 at 6:28 am
    He was poised and has potential, but none of these puff pieces mention the 2-3 dropped layup pick-sixes that would have resulted in a 23-10 or worse final score and articles calling for Savage.
    ——————————————————————————————-
    Fair enough, but I put the first one that Pacman dropped on Hopkins. Pacman was clearly staring right at Watson pre-snap. Hopkins made no up field move whatsoever to try to keep Pacman from jumping the out, he just stood there, and sure enough Pacman jumped in front of the throw. Overall, Hopkins has great ball skills, but needs to get better at route running.

  8. “The game is evolving and so must the players. Watson represents that change. If you don’t like it, grab your remote.”

    After Michael Vick was signed and started playing in the NFL – The game is evolving and so must the players, Vick represents that change

    After RGIII and Kap were signed and started playing in the NFL – The game is evolving and so must the players, RGIII and Kap represent that change

    None of these running QBs have won a Super Bowl. They typically have 1 or 2 good years until the league has enough tape on them and figures them out.

    Not to say Watson will be a bad player, but he better get his pocket passing down as well as his running.

  9. Was a good first game from Watson. He showed some great things, including the ability to create something out of nothing. But his ability to read the defense needs to improve (as others have mentioned about the near interceptions), and he needs to be able to go through his progressions, as he was too often staring down his first option. But this was what I was hoping for when we drafted him. He is easily the best quarterback that we have had in the past two seasons, so let’s give him the keys to the offense and let him learn as the season goes along. I’m hoping to see tremendous growth in him by the end of the year.

    Was nice to get that win. It wasn’t pretty but I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day of the weeek.

  10. Watson had limitations surrounding him so I thought he looked composed and played to win despite the obvious problems with personnel.

    Duane Brown, starting Left Tackle in a contract dispute, Watson has to deal with a rookie LT.

    3 TE’s that are usually ideal to use with rookie QB’s are out. THREE!

    Both Guards are hot garbage…but at least they were starters.

    After Hopkins, Fuller the WR2 was out, as well as his backup Jalen Strong.

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