Deshaun Watson has been getting first-team reps

Getty Images

Beyond the various claims that Texans coach Bill O’Brien won’t start a rookie quarterback and the comments from receiver DeAndre Hopkins that veteran Tom Savage has earned the job and vows from Savage to keep his job are the facts. And here’s one of the most important facts: Deshaun Watson has been getting reps with the starting offense.

It may be old news, but it’s not #fakenews. On Tuesday, Savage was asked about the difficulty of splitting first-team reps with Watson.

“I think [with] pretty much every team, the backup’s going to get reps with the ones,” Savage said. “I’m just going to worry about what I can control. Listen, I’m out there competing and that makes both of us better. So, we just have to keep going with that. At the end of the day, both of us, we want to win, so we let the coaches handle the rest and we’ll go out there and focus on what we can control.”

But does the backup quarterback take first-team reps away from the starter in other NFL cities? It may not be unprecedented, but it’s hardly universal.

With Savage preparing to be the Week One starter for the first time in his career, every rep is critical, and deep down he knows it. With some of those reps going to Watson, it’s clear that O’Brien is getting Watson ready to play, eventually. At a minimum, O’Brien is test driving his new car to see how it handles more challenging terrain.

O’Brien finds Watson intriguing, as does the rest of us. And if Watson continues to perform in preseason games like he did last Wednesday against the Panthers, O’Brien will become even more intrigued. As will the rest of us.

9 responses to “Deshaun Watson has been getting first-team reps

  1. It may not be common in the top-half of the league’s quarterbacks to share some reps with second stringers and rookies but it’s far from uncommon, as well. Quarterbacks like Savage who are not established pretty often split reps.

  2. O’Brien comes from the Belichick tree. If Watson is showing on all levels he gives the better chance to win than Savage, then Watson will start and will have earned it.


    O’Brien knows his job is in jeopardy and might not survive by week 4 if things start badly – and is priming Watson now for starting if Savage doesn’t put together wins in the first few games.

  3. It’s not just how well Watson performed against the Panthers backups, it’s how downright awful Savage looked against the Panthers starters. It really was a night and day difference. Reading too much into practice games is always dangerous, but I think Watson is more NFL ready than most people believed in April.

  4. It’s like Prescott last year. you ever know how these spread guys learn it on the chalkboard. If he’s picking that up quickly, it’s a no brainder on if you stick with Savage who most people can glance at and tell won’t ever be an NFL quality starter or go with the rookie. Only O’Brien and his offensive coaches know that.

  5. Uh oh,this is surprising. Throw Foreman back there with him it can be instant offense,dangerous combination. If the offense clicks,the Texans will be one of the most dangerous teams in the AFC.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.