HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Texans head coach Bill O’Brien on Monday said he has not made a decision yet on a starting quarterback for Houston’s Thursday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
O’Brien said at his Monday press conference that he had not yet spoken with the players yet and that his focus was on preparations for the Bengals.
“We’re going to do what’s best for the team,” O’Brien said. ” when asked when he would be announcing the decision as to who would start on Thursday.
The Texans replaced starting quarterback Tom Savage at halftime and began the third quarter with rookie Deshaun Watson who led the team to a touchdown on his first NFL drive. Neither quarterback took the job based on their play on Sunday, and O’Brien made sure to mention that at the moment Savage is at top of the depth chart, but that could change.
“Like I’ve said all along I’ve said that (Savage is) our starter, that’s the way it’s been. We’ll see moving forward here, but I thought both guys had some moments in the game that they did some good things, but we’ll see moving forward here.”
O’Brien has made a game one quarterback switch in the past replacing starter Brian Hoyer and going to back-up Ryan Mallett in a week one game against the Chiefs in 2015. O’Brien later admitted that the switch was a mistake, but said there was no hesitancy in going to Watson based on the self admitted error two seasons ago.
“We try to in eight minutes try to evaluate the first half and try to make the best decision, for the football team,” O’Brien said. “We don’t make knee jerk decisions, that just not what we do.”
Protection problems plagued both Texans signal callers as the Jaguars accumulated 10 sacks on Sunday. Savage fumbled the ball twice and Watson once with an interception so while Watson led the team to their only score, neither solidified themselves based on their play.
O’Brien asked the media members to give him time to announce the starting quarterback decision. It is likely O’Brien will make the announcement on Tuesday in the final media availability before Thursday’s game.
O’Brien admitted that while the game wasn’t smooth on offense he does see things in both quarterbacks.
“I think Tom (Savage) plays very calmly, I think he knows how to operate our offense. I didn’t seem have, when it came to X’s and O’s and mental mistakes,” O’Brien said of Savage’s play. “There’s things that he can do better and things I can do better to help him.”
As for Watson, the NRG Stadium crowd seemed ready for his arrival as they let out a loud roar when he stepped onto the field on Sunday to start the second half. Watson made plays with both his arm and legs and did benefit from three penalties on the drive before finding DeAndre Hopkins for the team’s only touchdown.
“I think Deshaun (Watson) went in there and made some plays,” O’Brien said. “Deshaun (Watson) is a playmaker. He can make plays with his feet, he knows what to do. He checked us in and out of plays. He’s got good instincts out on the field.”
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