Bill O’Brien Gets Brutally Honest About Deshaun Watson
Bill O’Brien got brutally honest about Deshaun Watson this week. The Houston Texans head coach and general manager acknowledged that he absolutely must re-sign their star quarterback, and that doing so is of the utmost importance.
“I think, look, obviously we feel good about where we’re at as a team,” he said this week.
“We feel like we have a lot of, like I said earlier, we’ve got a lot of dependable, tough, smart guys and they get along well. They want to be here. Houston’s a great city. They want to live here and they want to represent this city.
“Like I’ve said all along, I don’t really want to get into specific contract talks but quite obviously we want Deshaun Watson to be here for a long time. He’s had a great training camp, he’s a great player and we’re going to work hard to get that done.”
Just this weekend, O’Brien inked linebacker Zack Cunningham to a four-year, $58 million extension. The former Vanderbilt standout has been an absolute stud for Houston since being drafted in 2017 – ultimately leading the team in tackles in each of the past two years.
Last season, Cunningham ranked sixth in the league in tackles with 142 total. This came on the heels of 107 tackles one year prior.
Cunningham was a key piece of the defense and needed to be locked down by O’Brien in order to preserve order on that side of the ball.
Now the Texans must refocus on offense.
The NFL is gonna have an interesting Week 1. https://t.co/tCfGuosrgk
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 29, 2020
Bill O’Brien Needs To Do Right By Deshaun Watson
Although they are saying all the right things in regards to wanting to retain Watson, actions speak louder than words. Whispers around the organization indicated that all involved wanted to get a new deal done with the former Clemson star before the season officially commenced, but that is looking increasingly unlikely by the day.
Watson knows that he is one of the NFL’s best – and frankly, most underrated – quarterbacks. He also knows that Houston has not taken the steps necessary to help him out on offense.
In the offseason, O’Brien shipped out star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals after the 28-year-old requested a raise.
Hopkins felt like two seasons in a row with more than 100 catches earned him a pay bump from the $12.5 million he is due to make in 2020 – but O’Brien disagreed.
The Texans coach-slash-general manager sent Hopkins and a fourth rounder to Arizona for running back David Johnson, a second-round pick and a future fourth-round pick. Not exactly a massive haul, seeing as Johnson peaked in 2016.
The Eagles offense is already in shambles. https://t.co/owO7fENpk3
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 30, 2020
Watson was not a particularly big fan of the decision to move his best offensive option, and he was pretty vocal about it. Right around that time, a lot of Watson-to-the New England Patriots rumors started circulating.
For his part, Watson has remained a consummate professional throughout. Even though losing Hopkins obviously hurt, most of his talk has been directed towards guiding Houston to the Super Bowl in 2020.
“I’m trying to pull a big three,” he said recently.
“I won a state championship. I won a national championship. So of course I’m trying to get a Super Bowl. I’m trying to be legendary.”
Watson wants to be at the helm of a lasting legacy.
“I’m trying to create history and make it a dynasty,” he admitted.
Will he be able to achieve that goal with the Texans? Time will tell.