Texans QBs puts skills on display in preseason opener

By Adam Wexler - Sports Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - The Houston Texans will go only as far as their quarterback takes them. That quarterback may be Tom Savage or it may be rookie Deshaun Watson.

For now, in the preseason of course, it’s both.

“I thought both of those guys had their moments where they were both playing well,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said about his quarterbacks' performances in the Texans preseason opening 27-17 loss at the Carolina Panthers.

“To me, it was a typical first preseason game, there was some good, some not so good, a lot to build on,” O’Brien said.

Savage and the offense sputtered early, then after a pair of three-and-outs, Savage led a long touchdown drive that included eight straight completions to finish out his day.

“We wanted to start a little faster than that. The one good thing is that I talked to the offense the day before the game and said there are going to be things that pop up during the game that don’t go our way. There’s going to be 3-and-outs, dropped passes, and missed throws. We have to bounce back from that. I think we did a good job.," Savage said.

Savage finished 9-11 for 69 yards, with a 92.8 passer rating.

Watson followed Savage into the game for his professional debut and he looked very comfortable handing the Texans offense and executing the calls and completed 15 of his 25 pass attempts.

"My main focus is to make sure that I am doing the right things as a quarterback,” Watson said. "Leading the team, good operation, good mic points, whatever the coach asks me to do and what we game plan for.”

The rookie also led the team on a single touchdown drive, as he scampered into the end zone from 15 yards out, untouched, in the third quarter.

"For his first NFL game, I’m sure he was slightly nervous but it didn’t show,” O’Brien said Thursday after watching the film from the game.

"Now, with that being said, there’s a lot to build on. I mean, there’s a lot to correct. He knows that. I’d say he was about 50-50 on some of the schemes that we run, right or wrong. He was right 50 percent of the time, wrong 50 percent of the time, and that’s to be expected with a rookie. But I think his overall poise and demeanor and the way that he sees the game has always been something that’s pretty impressive to me,” O'Brien said. “It’s the same for Tom. I think, Tom, (and Watson) they have different skill sets. They play the game in different ways. I thought Tom played the game pretty resiliently, too. He came back from a couple tough series as an offense and was able on the third series to lead us to a touchdown. Both guys had their moments.”

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