No more than an hour after Deshaun Watson was drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans, who gave up an additional first round pick to move up and get him at No. 12 overall, GM Rick Smith and head coach Bill O’Brien named their starting quarterback.
It’s an interesting dynamic, and one worth watching this summer. How will Savage take to the guy who was brought in to take his job?
Our first glimpse was Tuesday, at the first day of OTAs. After the workout, Savage was asked about how he balances trying to handle his responsibilities as the starter, while also helping the rookie develop.
“I’m just worried about my execution and what I can do to help this team win, really,” he said. “That’s the ultimate thing. The only thing that matters to me are the guys out here, and that’s it.”
Only, Watson was out on the field too. It’d be one thing for Savage to dip a question about Duane Brown, who skipped as he and his people try to get him a new contract.
He was later asked how he thought Watson looked.
“I can’t comment on the field,” Savage said. “I know off the field, he’s a good guy and he’s fun to be in the locker room with.”
Maybe Savage is simply worried about his own development. After all, he’s thrown only 92 passes the last three seasons — each of them ending in injury — and had only 757 attempts total in college. For perspective, Watson had 579 attempts in his final season at Clemson alone. For all the talk about how much work Watson needs, given his experience and the system he came from in college, Savage isn’t a finished product, either.
Then again, maybe Savage isn’t exactly enthused about the idea of grooming a guy who could potentially put him out of work.
It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen that happen.
Brett Favre was famously uninterested in bringing along Aaron Rodgers. Same thing for Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. Maybe Carson Palmer and Josh McCown would be happy to teach up-and-comers for the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets, but in the NFL, that seems much more the exception than the rule.
The last time Savage was asked about the quarterback room, he said he expected it to be “fun” and “peaceful” this year. As much as it said about the working relationship between he, Brock Osweiler and O’Brien last year, it seemed as if Savage embraced having a young guy around the building, even if it meant competition.
Whatever the case — who knows, maybe Savage was just tired after his first real workout of the offseason, which lasted an hour and a half in the Houston heat — the Texans need one of their three quarterbacks to be ready to help them win games in 2017. Their defense, and weapons, are good enough that the Bovada Sports book gave them 18-to-1 odds of winning the Super Bowl this season — tied for sixth-best in the NFL, with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Matt hosts “Hear Me Out,” Saturdays from 1-4 pm on SportsRadio 610, and “The Matt Hammond Show,” weekdays at 11 am on Facebook Live, Twitter and Periscope. You can, and totally should, follow him on Twitter.com.