Deshaun Watson is 18th quarterback change in Texans’ last 54 games

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As Deshaun Watson prepares to start tonight against the Bengals, he represents an extraordinary run of quarterback instability for the Texans.

When Bill O’Brien decided to anoint Watson over Tom Savage one game into this season, it represented the 18th quarterback change for the Texans over their last 54 games, encompassing 10 different quarterbacks.

Matt Schaub started most of the 2013 season, including the last game of the year. Ryan Fitzpatrick started 2014, then was replaced by Ryan Mallett, then the Texans went back to Fitzpatrick, then to Case Keenum. Brian Hoyer started 2015, then the Texans went back to Mallett, then back to Hoyer, then to T.J. Yates, then back to Hoyer, then back to Yates, then to Brandon Weeden, then back to Hoyer. Brock Osweiler started the 2016 season, then the Texans went to Savage, then back to Osweiler. And after going back to Savage on Sunday, the Texans turn to Watson on Thursday night.

Confused? Let’s put it in list form. Over the Texans’ last 54 games, dating back to Week 17 of 2013, this has been their starting quarterback rotation:

Matt Schaub for the last game of 2013.
Ryan Fitzpatrick for the first nine games of 2014.
Ryan Mallett for Games 10 and 11 of 2014.
Ryan Fitzpatrick for Games 12-14 of 2014.
Case Keenum for the last two games of 2014.
Brian Hoyer for the first game of 2015.
Ryan Mallett for Games 2-5 of 2015.
Brian Hoyer for Games 6-9 of 2015.
T.J. Yates for Game 10 of 2015.
Brian Hoyer for Games 11-13 of 2015.
T.J. Yates for Game 14 of 2015.
Brandon Weeden for Game 15 of 2015.
Brian Hoyer for Game 16 and the playoff game of 2015.
Brock Osweiler for Games 1-14 of 2016.
Tom Savage for Games 15 and 16 of 2016.
Brock Osweiler for the two playoff games of 2016.
Tom Savage for the first game of 2017.
Deshaun Watson for the second game of 2017.

On average, the Texans are changing quarterbacks every three games. Which would suggest that by Week Five, O’Brien will be ready to make another change.

56 responses to “Deshaun Watson is 18th quarterback change in Texans’ last 54 games

  1. Texans are the new Browns… except the Browns now finally have a decent head coach and are headed in the right direction. The Texans under Bill O’Brien are the new dumpster fire.

  2. Not to worry Texan fans, the Bengals have a habit of taking the young, nervous, inexperienced rookies and turning them into Pro bowl material for at least one game.

  3. This team is a wreck. J.J. Watt looks like he is all about finished with his back. Clowney showed up on a milk carton this past Sunday. This team always had a defense that was good enough to keep games close so they could win with a game manager type QB, but now they are being exposed big time, since their defense is just average now. The Texans couldn’t maintain the method of how they were winning games. It was inevitable.

  4. Even though I don’t think O’Brien is a good HC, some of these “changes” were due to injuries (Yates – torn ACL; Hoyer – concussion; Savage – concussion (2016); Fitzpatrick – broken leg; Mallett – pectoral injury; Savage – knee (2014); Savage – shoulder (2015).

    It’s not like the moron O’Brien had a choice of keeping an injured QB as a starter…

  5. I think Bill O’Brien is an excellent coach, with the potential even to be a great coach. But handling quarterbacks appears to be an area where he falls short.

  6. Those first and second round picks next year are looking mighty nice at this point to the Browns I imagine.

  7. Injuries and post poor QB play aside, O’Brien should be criticized for spending 2 months, countless practices and 3 pre-season games to decide on his QB this year and then second guessing that decision 30 minutes into game 1.

  8. I think what we are going to see this season is what happens when a defense finally gets tired of carrying an offense. No worries though, O’Brien will have his choice of college head coaching opportunities next year

  9. The lack of a quality QB has been the issue for a long time now, this falls squarely on the GM’s shoulders and ultimately Bob McNair.

    Their defense was really exposed by the Raiders during the regular season when in the 4th quarter, the Raiders started hitting their backs out of the backfield and the Texans couldn’t match up defensively.

  10. And yet out of all of those guys, Watson is the one that people are most excited about after seeing his terrific performances against Alabama at the collegiate level.

  11. Somehow Bill O’Brien got the reputation as a QB guru for coaching Tom Brady in the 10th, 11th and 12th seasons in the NFL. This guy is horrible – stop giving him a free pass.

  12. BUT BUT BUT, O’Brien is supposed to be the QB Whisperer. An old chip off the old Belichick genius coaching block. The way this offense plays, they should apologize to the fans for stealing their hard earned money.

  13. I think Watson will probably be there for a while, for better or for worse. They finally drafted a QB high instead of getting mediocre ones through free agency or the late rounds. I think he’ll be better than the other QBs on that list. That isn’t saying much, but at least it should mean that he’ll stick around longer and this statistic will end.

  14. When you pay millions and millions of dollars for a guy who couldn’t even take the starting job of an old and aging QB who couldn’t throw 10 yards without risking an interception. Then you turn around and trade that same QB, for whom you paid millions and millions of dollars, for two round picks, then your organization is doomed.

  15. “I think Bill O’Brien is an excellent coach, with the potential even to be a great coach. But handling quarterbacks appears to be an area where he falls short.”

    So he is a good coach except for the coaching part?

  16. For all his tough guy, no nonsense demeanor, O’Brien comes off as waffling and indecisive considering his handling of the Most important position on the team.

    How invested can players be in a guy who jerks guys in and out with no chance to improve or adjust?

    Texans best hope O’Brien doesn’t stunt Watson’s development and ruin the guy. They have no draft to speak of for awhile.

  17. Bill O’Brien–call the Jets and trade Savage for Hackenberg!

    For someone that seems to get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to coaching, O’Brien sure makes QB changes very often. I know the Texans have had issues with the position, but two years ago he benched Hoyer have a bad start then put in Mallett. Mallett wasn’t so great either and then had attitude issues. Their solution was to bring in Brock Osweiller–who didn’t do well either and had an even worse attitude.

    Obviously, a lot of this QBs have issues, but…does O’Brien figure them out and coach around it, or just dumps them and moves on? To me it seems that he manages to bring out the worst in them in terms of behavior and then gets a free pass before moving on.

    Even on teams with worse QB depth don’t make switches as often as O’brien.

  18. People are going to blame O’Brien but the real culprit is the horrible GM who has not provided him with a competent QB.

  19. I do not see O’Brien being the coach next year. He needs to make a decision and stick with it. He is just unable to. He changes QB’s more than most people change underwear. Plus he is hard to work with and has anger management issues. I am glad I am not a Texans fan

  20. All of that instability seems to correspond with O’Brien. Hey, but that’s just my take. I never thought Savage would be a good QB, but it’s ridiculous to pull him after one game when you proclaimed all off-season he was your guy with that offensive line showing. Now, if Watson fails, now what?

  21. At some point they may want to start thinking that it just might not be the quarterback, though with that list of quarterbacks, it’s not easy to tell.

    They should have kept Osweiler for at least another season.

  22. Well if that’s not a winning formula, then what is?? But seriously, they have failed miserably in the draft. Failed in coaching. Bob McNair needs to clean house.

  23. And WHO is the common denominator? Bill O’Brien. I told people he was awful, it was clearly obvious in the first year that the guy was overated just by judging his schemes, kind of like how Ben McAdoo currently is, but people gave him a pass because “QB Guru,” or whatever the excuse was.

    Yeah right.

  24. This headline reminds me of something you would read on one of those rags at the grocery checkout. It should. You conveniently left out injuries and concussions for some of the moves. Report the facts.

  25. Can’t argue with this. But what can be said is that Deshaun Watson represents the first real quarterback the Texans have brought in in the Bill O’Brien era. The rest were just re-treads or 4th round draft picks that we thought could be turned into viable NFL starters. Deshaun Watson is the first one with a true pedigree that we are investing in coming out of college.

    But the article is still spot on. It annoyed me to no end that we we wanted Deshaun Watson to “earn” the starting job, when everyone knew that he was a better QB than Savage the second that he was drafted. This wasn’t Aaron Rodgers being drafted behind Brett Favre, or Steve Young waiting behind Joe Montana, this was Deshaun Watson waiting behind Tom Savage. We should have known what we had from Day 1 and just gone with Watson. And now – I pray to God – we are finally going to ride with this one QB for the rest of the season.

  26. O’Brien got totally faked out by trading Osweiler thinking he was going to get Romo. Osweiler is better than the musical chairs O’Brien’s got at QB. The owner didn’t even know about the Osweiler trade and he’s still not happy. Howard Cosell would say “This team is in disarray!”

  27. 3kdad says:
    September 14, 2017 at 10:57 am
    This headline reminds me of something you would read on one of those rags at the grocery checkout. It should. You conveniently left out injuries and concussions for some of the moves. Report the facts.

    Your post reminds me of something written by an over-sensitive homer. Nowhere in the article does it state that all of the changes were caused by indecisiveness or poor coaching. It just states the simple true fact that, for whatever reason, there has been a lot of upheaval at the QB position in Houston. Take off your red, white and blue glasses and read the article again.

  28. O’Brien is a good coach. Not his fault the GM has stuck him with retreads and backups. Even Osweiler wasn’t his idea the way it sounds. Now it’s going to take time to develop Watson. Who really thought Savage was the answer?

  29. how many passes will o’brien get? he’s the one making these decisions and at some point he has to be held accountable for this kind of dumpster fire at the QB position.

    better coaches than him have lost their jobs because they couldn’t figure out or stabilize the QB position. i’m not even a texans fan but i’m pretty tired of this carousel.

  30. The last one to be decent was Schaub. At one time, Schaub was very effective. I do think that his last year was not very good. All said, every QB that followed was an average starter at best. So just like every other team that doesn’t have a franchise QB they are doing what they can to get one. Watson should start every game the rest of the season.

    Oh…as an aside, maybe they should also block for the guy tonight. I know, I know pass-pro and a run game are often times overlooked when evaluating the passing game. The Texans franchise doesn’t have a great track record of blocking for their franchise QB. In fact, don’t they hold the record for most sacks allowed in a season? I know that was years ago and the everyone in the franchise has been replaced since then but their inability Sign your LT and get the kid some help.

  31. This move suggests that O’Brien doesn’t have confidence in his offensive line and will likely move the pocket in this game to take advantage of Watson’s ability to pass on the run. Savage is less able to do that.

  32. Rookie qbs lately haven’t had success against the Bengals. They beat RG3 beat Manziel badly and Carson Wentz last year. I don’t know what to expect both teams have horrible o line right now I give Texans edge on defense and I give the Bengals a slight edge on offense. In the long run I do think Watson will be a good one but it’s hard to say if he will do well with all the injuries Houston has and their bad o line. Not saying the Bengals are much better because they’re not but a rookie starting on the road for the first time and an o line allowing 10 sacks the week before is a tough ask.

  33. 3kdad says:
    September 14, 2017 at 10:57 am

    This headline reminds me of something you would read on one of those rags at the grocery checkout. It should. You conveniently left out injuries and concussions for some of the moves. Report the facts.

    Isn’t it a fact that Deshaun Watson is the 18th quarterback change in the Texans last 54 games?

    The fact that you got something negative out of it is your problem.

  34. O’Brien needs to stop with the whole “fear for your job” tactic that he uses by pulling a QB as soon as things aren’t going well. That may work in some businesses to get the most out of your employees, but it clearly isn’t working here.

  35. This team is ridiculous. For two or three years they had a Super Bowl caliber defense, a couple top line receivers, and decent backs. Yes they had injuries etc..but the window is closing and they knew that and they went all off season with Savage as the starter. He has been there, they knew what they had.

    They drafted Watson, who looks like he will develop into a long term solution, but he is not the answer this year. They stuck with Savage. He might be marginal with a team with an o line that is good, but, Savage falls under the Osweiler-Bledsoe concrete anchors for feet quarterback tree.

    Just this off season people were saying ” Romo and they are Super Bowl bound.” There is no excuse to not bring in a proven mobile QB, SUCH AS KAP, to give themselves the best shot at winning now, which is what everyone believed they could do as late kick-off last Sunday.

  36. This shows why Cousins, Garrapalo and potentially Bradford(for the third time) are about to get paid in free agency.
    You hit on a qb who gives you a decent chance to lead your team to the playoffs you can’t let him go. Rarely is there an adequate replacement.

  37. Most OC’s are supposed to be mellow… Not this guy. He almost tore Brady’s head off that one year!

  38. This is the first young QB they’ve tried since the bad Carr. Speaking of wich, maybe if they weren’t being superstitious or something, they would have taken Derek based on his own tape and not what his brother never did for them. At some point you have to get off the fringe starter situation like Brian Hoyer or the guys who obviously can’t play like Mallet and go develop your own young guy.

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