By Alex Del Barrio

HOUSTON (Sportsradio 610) – Tom Savage was Bill O’Brien’s choice to be the Houston starting quarterback even after the drafting of Deshaun Watson back in April. Little did Savage or anyone else know that Savage’s term as the team’s starter would last just one half in the season opener to the Jaguars.

On Thursday every Texans fan’s worst nightmares were realized when Watson was lost for the year with a freak non-contact ACL tear in his right knee. Savage, the only quarterback on the roster at the time, now gets a second shot to make the impact he hoped to make at the start of the year.

Savage, who was grown close to Watson and whom O’Brien said helped Watson get accustomed to the Texans offense said he spoke to Watson after his season ended and vowed to pick up where he left off.

“I texted (Deshaun) last night and I obviously saw him after in the training room and stuff. I just told him, ‘Listen, I got your back no matter what and I’m going to do whatever I can to help out.,” Savage said. “You can’t really replace Deshaun Watson, you know what I mean? The kid’s been playing absolutely lights out, but that’s not my job. My job’s to go out there and help this team win and do whatever I can to help.”

Savage is well aware of the explosiveness of the Houston offense since Deshaun became the starting quarterback in week two. Watson has thrown 19 touchdowns and nearly 2,000 yards and was the October AFC Player of the Month. Watson’s athleticism and creativity has allowed O’Brien to add new wrinkles to the offense and Savage is well aware that he will have to play different for the success of the offense to continue.

“Just going to state the obvious – that there’s some things that he can do that I can’t do,” Savage said. But he’s doing a really good job of throwing the ball down the field. So, really, that’s kind of what you want to keep doing. You want to keep letting these guys make some big plays for you, and that’s what they’re doing.”

O’Brien, disappointed in losing a dynamic player like Watson, knows this can be a big moment in Savage’s career especially with him being in the final year of his contract.

“I think any time a guy has an opportunity like this, it’s really incumbent upon them to seize it and take advantage of it because it can mean a lot, especially at that position, it can mean a lot for your career. No doubt about it,” O’Brien said.

Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for 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



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