Training Camp: Bill O'Brien Easing Deshaun Watson Back to the Football Field

Patrick D. Starr

Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien opened up training camp with his Houston Texans at The Greenbrier on Thursday. O’Brien and the Texans have been waiting to get Deshaun Watson back on the field after missing the majority of last season with a torn ACL. O’Brien is pleased to have Watson back but is being careful with the starting quarterback as training camp gets into full swing.

“We’re monitoring his reps,” O’Brien said of Watson. "We’re not going to try to overcook him here early on. We know that he’s nine months out from an ACL. We communicate a lot. How does he feel? Got some really good quality reps today. Obviously, just like everybody, some things we have to clean up but we’ll take it day-to-day.”

In his rookie season, Watson showed that the Texans found a franchise player with what he was able to show in such a short time as a quarterback, throwing for 1,699 yards and 21 total touchdowns in just over 6.5 games. The young quarterback was happy to get back on the field.

“It was cool,” Watson said of the first day of camp. “Just a great refresher for myself and for my teammates to kind of just continue that chemistry that we built during the off-season but also starting off the training camp right with everyone back in action, back on the same page and like I said, just building that chemistry.”

With the Texans monitoring Watson’s reps on the field, the offense will split up snaps with Watson and fellow quarterbacks Brandon Weeden, Joe Webb, and Stephen Morris. Watson will get a majority of the snaps as the preseason progresses, but for now, he will be eased into a full workday.

“He gets the number one reps. Right now, these first two days, we’re trying to get all four quarterback reps,” O’Brien stated. “It’s hard to do that as camp goes on, but in the first two days, get all the guys some reps. Then, like I said, monitoring Deshaun and how he’s doing through all of this, but he’s full-go, and it’s obviously great to have him.”

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