HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — Deshaun Watson made only six starts last season for the Houston Texans, but it was enough for him to make an impression, even on Tyrann Mathieu.
Mathieu, who signed here last week for one year and $7 million, said one of the biggest factors in his decision was Watson.
“It was an exciting football team to watch, especially when Deshaun (Watson) was healthy,” Mathieu said. “I think having him, I think it gives a lot of us confidence.”
Watson, the No. 12 overall pick in the NFL Draft last year, took over for Tom Savage at halftime of the Texans regular season opener, and went on a historic tear for a rookie quarterback.
The offense averaged 34.7 points per game, and Watson set a pace to finish with 43 touchdowns. His 9.3 touchdown percentage was second to only Peyton Manning (9.9, 2004) in the modern era.
Watson’s season ended with a torn ACL, a non-contact injury he suffered during practice after their loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but what he did when healthy was enough to help get Mathieu here.
“I think any time you play on a team with a quarterback with his kind of capabilities, it always gives your team an advantage and like I just mentioned, the guys on defense, I think those guys are dominant as well. … So, I’m just looking forward to really gelling with the guys, coming in here, just putting the work in and just letting those guys get to know me.”
Mathiew thinks the season can turn around from 4-12 because of the defense, but also knows the impact Watson can have.
“Obviously, I look at the quarterback position. I look at the talent those guys have on offense. And then I look at the defense. I don’t think I’ve ever played with a defensive line quite like the guys that they have here with (Whitney) Mercilus and (J.J.) Watt and (Jadeveon) Clowney. So, I’m going to have a lot of fun playing behind those guys and I think that played a part in me coming here as well.”