HOUSTON – The wait is over and Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is ready for the 2018 season to kick off.
"I’m very excited. To just be able to get back in action where everything is – you know, everything matters, but this is the start of the season," Watson said Wednesday. "So, we can start the season off right, go up there Sunday. But right now, we just have to focus on today and be able to prepare, then once Sunday gets here, just cut it loose and play free."
Watson, nearly one year removed from tearing his ACL, has had a long journey back but since OTAs and Mini Camp has been 100 percent. He is confident with his health entering the opener against the Patriots.
Watson, who was limited to only seven games in 2017, still managed to produce big numbers finishing with 1,699 yards passing to go with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. It's a small sample size, but he proved he belongs and can lead the Texans. He will get his second start again facing Tom Brady and the Patriots in Foxborough on Sunday.
"It’s pretty cool. Last year was kind of a surprise, seeing all the athletes that I’ve looked up (to) and have been watching for a long time, but now I’ve been through that stage of just kind of being star-struck," Watson told reporters. "But right now, the guy that you look up to becomes your rivals at times, and you have to just be able to go out there and compete and try to beat him.”
The Texans lost a 36-33 heartbreaker in Week 3 last year and Watson hasn't forgotten what that felt like.
"I've learned a lot, just being able to see different looks from different opponents, be able to see different professional athletes and go against different competition, and just grow in knowledge and just become a better football player," Watson said.
Watson and the Texans take on the Patriots at noon Sunday. Full coverage from Foxborough on KPRC2 and Sports Sunday will be aired after NBC's Sunday Night Football.