During a special edition of the Adam Schefter podcast, he sat down for a quick discussion with Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien. They covered the Texans off-season, losing key free agents and the health of their wide receiver group, whom O’Brien thinks highly of when he can get their top trio on the field.
Schefter asked about Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and his ceiling as a player entering his third season with the organization.
“I don’t think he has a ceiling,” O’Brien explained to Schefter. “I think it is hard to put a ceiling on a guy like that because of who he is, how he works. His ability, his skill set, his passion for the game, the guy is really a fun guy to coach.”
In 2018, Watson had a productive season for the Texans starting all 16 games throwing for 4,165 yards with 26 touchdowns to only nine interceptions. His 68.3% completion percentage was the highest in franchise history for a single season with a minimum of 500 pass attempts. Watson passed Matt Schaub’s single-season record of 67.9% in 2009 on 583 pass attempts.
O’Brien knows despite two strong seasons to start his career, Watson has plenty to improve on in his game.
“There’s a lot of things he can do to improve, he knows that, we know what,” O’Brien continued “We’re gonna try to improve some things around him. He’s working hard to improve his knowledge of defense, improve his mechanics, the way that he process information all those things. I don’t think there’s a ceiling for him.”
Even with the record-setting season, O’Brien knows that Watson had to rush to get into football mode after tearing his ACL in 2017 which resulted in countless hours of rehab to get reading for the 2018 season.
O’Brien discussed the first limitations with Watson to start last season.
“I think if you look at last year, all he could do during the off-season program was 7-on-7, no 11-on-11,” O’Brien said of Watson’s limitations. “Training camp, no 11-on-11, he did a little bit but as not much. Then we played him a little bit in games to try to get him back in the routine of playing in games and getting ready for games.”
Now with a full off-season for Watson dedicated to getting stronger and perfecting his craft, O’Brien feels the Texans will benefit from Watson concentrating on the season and not his repaired knee.
“He has had now, this season, a full offseason of no limitations,” O’Brien explained. “Coming back to the offseason program, full go can do everything. Training camp, full go. Last year, that wasn’t the case. He was limited in training camp, limited in the off-season program, so now, he will have a full offseason, which I think it will be big.”
O’Brien is looking forward to having the Texans single caller out on the field when OTAs kick-off with Watson taking the majority of the snaps.
“I think, this year he will be able to do, obviously, a lot more,” O’Brien said of Watson coming back this off-season healthy. “I think that will help us with the timing of the passing game. With his improvement individually and it will help our team having him out there every day.
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