Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson is impressing teammates and the coaching staff with his play and work ethic through the first two weeks of organized team activities.
“He’s in here all the time studying,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said, via Houston’s team website. “I think he was coached really well at Clemson, so he has a good basic fundamental knowledge of football. He’s got instincts and he’s getting better every day.”
The two-time Heisman Trophy finalist is working on his transition to the NFL, but Houston’s front office and coaching staff are clearly excited about the future of the 6-foot-2, 221-pound quarterback.
“He’s gotten better every day,” O’Brien said. “I think the hard part about this week is there’s more snaps in the red zone where things happen a lot faster down there. That’s always something that takes a rookie quarterback probably the longest to learn how fast things happen down there.”
The Texans traded up to No. 12 overall pick to land Clemson’s national championship quarterback, and general manager Rick Smith made it clear days after the selection that Watson would be competing for the starting role in his rookie season.
Houston’s front office and coaching staff have remained steadfast in their belief of quarterback Tom Savage this offseason, but it surely wouldn’t shock anyone if the rookie quarterback were to win out the starting role during training camp and the preseason.
“He’s a hard worker,” Texans defensive lineman and Watson’s former Clemson teammate D.J. Reader said. “I’ve seen him grow a lot. I was there when he came as a freshman. He came in and put his head down, went to work. That’s him all the way. That’s what Deshaun does. He’s a worker.”
The Texans are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball, but have witnessed their Super Bowl aspirations fall apart the past two years due to poor quarterback play. Only time will tell if Watson can earn the starting role prior to the team’s regular season opener against AFC South rival Jacksonville, but there surely is no questioning the work ethic of Houston’s rookie quarterback.