Bill O'Brien calls Tom Savage Texans starter, with Deshaun Watson No. 2

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Columnist
Shutdown Corner

The Houston Texans traded up in this year’s draft to nab Clemson star quarterback Deshaun Watson in the first round, but they’re not ready to hand the rookie the reins of the offense just yet.

During his Tuesday news conference, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien emphasized that Tom Savage is the team’s starting quarterback, with Watson as the backup.

Tom has really had a good camp. He’s got a really good command of the offense,” O’Brien said of Savage, via the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson.

Savage starts: Texans coach Bill O’Brien (R) reiterated on Tuesday that Tom Savage (L) will be the team’s starting quarterback. (AP)
Savage starts: Texans coach Bill O’Brien (R) reiterated on Tuesday that Tom Savage (L) will be the team’s starting quarterback. (AP)

Savage, a 2014 fourth-round pick who has two starts to his name, both coming last season, got off to a rocky start in the Texans’ first preseason game, against Carolina, as the Houston offense went three-and-out in its first two possessions.

Since those first two drives, when Savage was 1-for-3, he’s played three series – one more against the Panthers and two against the New England Patriots on Saturday – and is 16-for-17 for 165 yards and a touchdown.

Savage also did well in joint practices against the Patriots last week.

Watson was 3-of-10 for 102 yards in his second preseason game, and was also credited with 10 yards on four carries and a score against New England. Over his two appearances, he hasn’t turned the ball over, but he’s completed just over 50 percent of his pass attempts (18 of 35) for 281 yards, with no touchdowns. Watson rushed for two touchdowns.

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O’Brien was complimentary of Watson, but also made it clear that there won’t be a “Wildcat”-type situation, with the Texans using the mobile Watson on the field with Savage.

“Deshaun is a very, very good young player who has a bright future in this league,” O’Brien said. “Let’s put the cards on the table, but Tom has been here for four years. The way we want to play, the style relative to getting guys lined up, protection points, route reads, putting guys in the right spots, Tom’s ahead of Deshaun.”

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