O’Brien, Texans Players Impressed By Watson

By Paul Gallant, SportsRadio 610

HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson impressed a lot of people in Sunday’s 36 – 33 loss to the Patriots. Especially his teammates.

“His poise is wonderful,” said Foreman. “I never can tell if he’s nervous or not. He just goes out there and plays hard every down.”

“He did a great job yesterday,” said cornerback Johnathan Joseph. “He kept us in the ball game. He played his heart out and he played all the way up until the end. We couldn’t ask for him to do anymore than he did yesterday.”

“It’s been fun playing with him,” continued Foreman. “He’s very supportive. And he encourages everybody as soon as he gets in the huddle before we start a series off.

Watson – who finished the day 22-33 for 301 yards, 2 TD, and 2 INT – was one of the main reasons that the Texans offense put together 417 yards of total offense.

“He does a lot of things well for a young player,” said O’Brien. “He’s a very smart player. It would be hard for me to tell you he did ‘this’ thing better than others. The key for Deshaun is now building on it. His first two starts on the road, he’s played pretty well. So now it’s, OK, what do I need to do to get ready for another really good team, obviously, and a new defense and a Dick LeBeau (Tennessee’s defensive coordinator) -designed defense – which is something he’s never seen before. So, he just needs to take each week as a new week and a new challenge. That’s the kind of kid he is and that’s what he’ll do.”

Watson didn’t have a 49 yard touchdown this week. But his feet were once again a strength. He avoided sacks, and rushed 8 times for 41 yards, often improvising along the way.

“He’s a guy that can create plays,” said running back D’Onta Foreman. “I’ve seen him step out of 3, 4 tackles and still get the ball off. To me that’s amazing. Just to be a rookie and be able to step in and do stuff like that. It’s amazing.

On one of those plays where he evaded a gang of pass rushers, Watson hit a wide open Foreman for a 31 yard gain.

I asked Foreman if he was surprised by Watson’s escape.

“Not really,” answered Foreman. “I was just trying to get open. Because I know he’s back there scrambling. Get open. He’s going to find somebody.”

“He’s talented,” said a laughing Chris Clark when I asked him if he ever caught himself staring at Watson mid play as he eludes defenders. “We all see that. We all know that. To extend the play it always helps receivers. And as long as we’re moving the chains it really doesn’t matter to me.”

Bill O’Brien has been asked multiple times since turning to Watson if it would have made sense to give the rookie more first team reps during the offseason. Every time he’s answered the question, the Texans head coach has been adamant that Watson indeed worked with the first team.

“I don’t think you guys really care what I say, just like I don’t really care what you say,” said O’Brien. “But we’ve been working with Deshaun since the night he was drafted. I was on the phone with him. I think we sent him whatever sections of the playbook we could send him, we sent him. As soon as he arrived in Houston, we began to meet with him. As soon as we were allowed to get on the field, we began to work with him. He worked with everybody that was out there. When we got into training camp there were injuries and things like that, so nobody worked with (DeAndre) Hopkins for about four or five weeks, I think, because he was out with a thumb. Nobody worked with (Will) Fuller (V) because he was out for a long time because he broke his collarbone. So, Deshaun was in there with some guys that aren’t here anymore. So was Tom (Savage). Deshaun has worked a lot with us as to what his package is.”

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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