Rookie Deshaun Watson won’t be limited in Texans’ offense
There’s a reason we can rattle of the names of extremely successful rookie quarterbacks off the top of our heads: most rookie quarterbacks are pretty bad. That’s true of players that continue to be bad (like, say, Tim Couch) and it’s true of players that go on to be very good (like Peyton Manning). Transitioning from college to the NFL is hard stuff, even for the most prepared players.
For this reason, NFL teams often simplify their offense for a rookie QB, putting as little on his plate as necessary to put him in the best possible position to succeed. We see this often at the start of the season, with the playbook expanding as the year goes on and the player gets more comfortable.
The Texans will not be doing that with Deshaun Watson, according to coach Bill O’Brien.
“We put a lot on his plate during the spring, and he handled it very well,” O’Brien said, per the Houston Chronicle. “He made mistakes, and he corrected them. You don’t see him make the same mistake twice. He can do a lot of things. He can operate our running game and in our passing game. He’s got a lot of athleticism. I don’t think we’ll have to limit him. Training camp and preseason games will be a big test.”
Already, O’Brien is impressed with the way Watson has picked things up, which he credits to the offense he ran at Clemson and the responsibilities he had within it.
“He had to learn a pretty sophisticated offense at Clemson,” O’Brien said. “He had to do a lot of things at the line of scrimmage. I think he was trained really well. That’s a credit to the Clemson staff. He’d already been in some big games when he got here. When he came here, he put his head down and came to work every day.”
Watson started 38 games during his three seasons with the Tigers, eventually taking over complete control of a complex, hybrid spread offense. It was not necessarily what people refer to as “pro style,” but he had to make pro style decisions within it, both at the line of scrimmage and after the snap. That should help him get ready to step up and potentiallyaway from Tom Savage, who the team has still recently insisted will be the guy.
Considering the Texans surrendered two first-round picks to move up and get Watson at No. 12, they’d surely be happy if he were to show he has the goods to start right away.