Bill O’Brien on Deshaun Watson: A lot to build on, a lot to correct


While discussing his first game action as an NFL player, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson said that the players were bigger, faster and stronger but that it was “still football” to describe his comfort level against the Panthers.

Texans coach Bill O’Brien agreed with that sentiment, saying that it’s clear to him that nothing is too big for Watson and that any nerves he may have had didn’t show on the field. As for the play itself, O’Brien said it was the mixed bag you’d predict for a player facing an opposing NFL defense for the first time.

“There’s a lot to build on,” O’Brien said at a press conference. “There’s a lot to correct. He knows that. He was about 50-50 on some of the schemes we run, right or wrong. He was right 50 percent of the time and wrong 50 percent of the time. That’s to be expected with a rookie. I think his overall poise and demeanor and the way he sees the game is pretty impressive to me and it’s the same for Tom [Savage]”

Savage started the game and led a touchdown drive after a pair of ineffective drives, leading O’Brien to say he liked the quarterback’s resiliency. In general, O’Brien seemed more pleased with both of his quarterbacks after watching film of the game than he did with the guys blocking for them and that should make the focus on offense clear as Houston moves toward their second preseason outing.

12 responses to “Bill O’Brien on Deshaun Watson: A lot to build on, a lot to correct

  1. O’Brien has never had much to work with at QB in Houston. He’s always inherited QBs off of other team’s scrap heap which is more the fault of Rick Smith. Now he has his chance to see what he can do. If he fails with Watson then I might join his critics. IMO the jury is still out on him as far as grooming QBs. As a HC he has taken the Texans to the playoffs with garbage at QB the last 2 seasons which says something.

  2. Savage definitely looked more like an NFL QB than Watson, who still looks like a college QB. That said, the first preseason game doesn’t mean all that much.

    Savage looked too tentative, taking too long at times to make decisions. He mostly stuck to easy to complete short passes, but on the one long(er) pass he threw (about 15 yards) he hopped up in the pocket to get a clear lane and to avoid the rush and threw a strike for a first down.

    Watson entered the game with an overconfidence and started slinging the ball all over the place. Clearly, with downfield passes sailing over receivers heads or off the mark, or worse, ending up between receivers in no man’s land, he isn’t ready to be doing that and should have stuck to safer passes in order to get some confidence. He did look like a “scattershot” QB with his badly off the mark passes, and even some of his short passes were inaccurate. Although I admire the willingness to take chances, he just isn’t ready to be that kind of player. This is the pros, not college.

    I’m not saying Watson is going to be good or bad, but he clearly needs some work and coaching, as do all rookie QBs. His scrambling was the highlight of his game, though he didn’t make any plays off them. Hey, at least none of those errant passes were picked off – this time.

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