In Tim Kelly, Bill O’Brien trusts.
O’Brien has called the plays five of the six previous seasons he has been the Texans’ head coach. In 2015, O’Brien allowed then-offensive coordinator George Godsey to call the plays.
But Kelly will do it this season, O’Brien announced in February.
Kelly, 33, served as the Texans’ offensive coordinator last season with O’Brien grooming him for the additional job duties.
“I think anytime you’re doing something for the first time, there’s going to some form of a learning process,” Kelly said Wednesday in a video call with beat reporters, via quotes distributed by the team. “So last year being in the offensive coordinator position for the first time, it was the first time I had done so, so I was learning something from OB [O’Brien] every week, every game, every day we were in there. So being able to take those lessons and make sure that we’re able to improve in certain areas as we move forward here was a good thing.”
Kelly had a hand in the offense last season, even though he didn’t call the plays. He installed some run-pass options, among other things, in trying to take advantage of Deshaun Watson‘s playmaking ability.
Kelly, whose fingerprints will be all over the offense this season, has spent the offseason trying to get on the same page with Watson. He is learning more every day about what the Pro Bowler likes.
“If you’re calling plays or you’re a part of the play-calling process, you want to make sure that you’re seeing the game through same set of eyes as the quarterback, that you’re all on the same page, that you all have the same vision of the play when the play gets called,” Kelly said. “That’s something where as we continue to grow, that’s going to be important. And yeah, there’s things that Deshaun needs to get better at, as all of us need to improve on. We’ve talked about that with him, coming out and being consistent and playing at that [high level all the time]. He’s set the bar so high, so it’s really a challenge for him to be able to play at that level every time he steps on the field.”