WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (CBS HOUSTON) – The present met the potential future on Wednesday at the Greenbrier in West Virginia as the New England Patriots and Houston Texans met for their second of two joint practices ahead of their preseason match-up Saturday night in Houston.
Five-time Super Bowl champion and former league MVP Tom Brady is normally the biggest star on the Patriots practice field, but plenty of attention was given to Texans rookie QB Deshaun Watson. The 12th overall selection is currently the back-up for Houston, but all signs point to him being the future of not only the Texans, but the NFL at the QB position.
On Wednesday the multi-time All-Pro spent time with the former All-American after practice and praised his talent and potential.
“He’s got a great future. He’s got all the ability. It was great to meet him,” Brady said during his media session Wednesday. “I’ve watched him have so many great games. Pro football players watch a lot of college players because on Saturday nights we’re at the hotel and Clemson was on a lot. Obviously, they won a lot of big games so it was great to meet him.”
Watson, currently in an unofficial battle with incumbent starter Tom Savage, has been growing at an exponential rate to the extent that Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has praised the speed of his development.
Watson, a champion in his own right with a national title victory 7 months ago, enjoyed the chat he was able to have with the defending champion Patriots signal caller.
“It’s always good to be able to learn and watch a guy like Tom Brady – one of the best to ever do it – and see him in live practice to see how he works,” Watson said. “What we talked about, we were just kind of congratulating each other on all the success that we’ve had, and he was just giving me a little tip here and there about this league and this system and Coach OB (O’Brien). It was a good talk.”
Success on the field is one of the few similarities between Brady and Watson. Brady began his career as a 6th round pick with a lanky frame and excruciatingly slow 40 time coming out of Michigan. Watson, a former Heisman runner-up and first round selection is blessed with speed and athleticism that Brady could only dream of.
“If I could run a 4.7, man, I would have been the first overall pick,” Brady joked. “Unfortunately, I ran a 5.2.”
Brady corrected himself and said he would have likely improved to a fourth round selection. He wanted larger point of advice to Watson is that
“I wish I could make some of those plays. Look, every player has strengths and weakness and you learn to play to your strengths, and you learn to develop your weaknesses”
Watson has long admired Brady’s career as most young quarterbacks would. He made sure to pay attention to his work ethic and style on the practice field over the last two days.
“Just how consistent he is and how each and every play is a game rep,” Watson said when asked about what he admires about Brady. “Each time he takes the field he’s out there taking charge, being a leader. He’s out there being the man of the team and controlling everything.”
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio