HOUSTON - With a successful rookie minicamp in the books, the Texans opened organized team activities on Tuesday with most of the team participating.
A few big names were not in attendance: DeAndre Hopkins, Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt. head coach Bill O’Brien assured the media that there is nothing to worry about, they are just training on their own and will join the team at some point before training camp.
However, the most important star was in attendance, quarterback Deshaun Watson, who led the offense through drills.
Going into his third season in the NFL, Watson is extremely optimistic about what this year’s team can accomplish in the 2019 season. A lot of the optimism stems from the fact that the Texans drafted two offensive linemen in the draft.
In the first round with the 23rd overall pick, the Texans selected tackle Tytus Howard out of Alabama State.
Since he was drafted, Howard has made it known that he is here with one job: “To protect Deshaun Watson.”
After being the most hit quarterback last season, Watson is very fond of that sentiment.
“I’ll make sure that if they protect me, I’ll sit back there and make the right decisions. We can put points on the board and we're all happy. We all celebrate, go grab a couple of drinks. Continue to win and we all stay here longer, that’s the idea," Watson said.
It's often noted that great players see extreme growth between their rookie season and their second season in the league, but O’Brien is very impressed with the growth Watson has shown between year two and three.
“This spring he’s improved a great deal in the mastery of our offense. How our offense operates, the communication of our offense. He’s done an excellent job. He’s a very bright guy he works very hard. All he wants to do is what’s best for the team all he wants to do is win,” O'Brien said.
For the guys who aren’t in pads at OTAs, it’s less about physicality and more about communication, which Watson says is a major focus with new pieces on the offense.
“The biggest thing is communication and everyone building that chemistry. There’s going to be some mess-ups, especially bringing in the young guys up front and getting adapted to the way I communicate with the other O-line and the whole offense,” Watson said.
Watson said the team's goal is to get 1% better every day, and if they do that, they’ll be in a good place come time for training camp.
The Texans first preseason game is Aug. 8 on the road against the Packers.
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