O’Brien Thinks Watson’s Big Stage Experience Could Help Sunday

By Paul Gallant, SportsRadio 610

HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – Big stage success in college doesn’t guarantee anything in the NFL. Just ask Tim Tebow.

But Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is hoping that rookie quarterback’s Deshaun Watson’s experiences will give him added confidence heading into Sunday’s against the Patriots.

“I think so,” said O’Brien when asked about that. “Look, it’s different, obviously. It’s the National Football League. But, he’s played in some National Championship games. He’s played in big games relative to the ACC in college. Just the environment, dealing with the noise, dealing with the big-game environment, I think that’s important.

“Now, dealing with the Patriots defense relative to a college defense, that’s a whole other thing,” continued O’Brien. “So, I’m just talking about noise level and things like that. The thing about Deshaun is he doesn’t get nervous. I asked him before last week’s game, ‘Are you nervous?’ He goes, ‘No, I don’t get nervous.’ And I see that. So, I don’t really concern myself too much with that.”

Watson was adequate passing the ball against the Bengals Thursday night. He finished 15/24 for 125 yards on the game. But the real difference he made was with his feet. The 49 yard touchdown run helped him finish with 5 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Bill O’Brien was a little feisty when ESPN’s Sarah Barshop asked if Watson’s legs have opened up another part of the Texans playbook.

“I mean, that’s obvious, right? I don’t know about the playbook, I’m just saying his legs – he had the longest run that we’ve had here in a while. So, I think his legs probably give us something.”

“I don’t feel any limitations,” continued O’Brien when asked if there were any limitations for the offense with Watson. “He’s a different quarterback, so I think that it’s relative to what each guy can do, and with Deshaun (Watson), he can do some different things. So, relative to what his skillset is and what he knows and what he can do, I don’t think there’s any limitations.”

Watson was solid in his first career start with just a short week to prepare. O’Brien is hoping having a long week to get ready will help him take a step forward in start number 2.

“I think that’s a good question,” “He’s been in here already this morning and I think the more reps he gets – the game reps, obviously, but the practice reps, he’ll get the bulk of the first-team reps now. And I think, just based on that alone and his film study and learning from week to week, he’ll get better and better.”

Paul Gallant hosts “Gallant at Night” – Tuesday 9-11 PM CT, Wednesdays and Fridays 8-11 PM CT – on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or his facebook page.

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