Texans QB Davis Mills says playing more helped him learn how to be smart yet aggressive

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  • Houston Texans
    Houston Texans
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Davis Mills
    Davis Mills
    American football quarterback
  • Tyrod Taylor
    Tyrod Taylor
    American football player

Playing rookie quarterbacks can be difficult.

If a quarterback can’t handle the heat of the NFL, they may get shellshocked and not come out of a pattern that hinders their development.

If a quarterback is able to withstand the pressure, then the experience is an investment that helps the rookie develop into an effective player.

For Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills, starting in 11 of his 13 games played was what he needed to grow and to learn how to protect the football while also being aggressive.

“I think it was the experience,” Mills said. “I think, obviously, protecting the football is kind of in the back of your head at all times. You never want to give the ball away, but I think you also need to go out there and be aggressive at the same time.”

Mills was thrown into the mix immediately in Week 2 when starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor strained his hamstring at the Cleveland Browns. The third-rounder would start the next six games, losing each one and averaging 10.2 points per game.

After Taylor struggled through his next four starts beginning in Week 9, coupled with a left wrist injury, Mills was back in the lineup, but things had changed. The cohesion he formed with the perimeter players helped him process decisions faster.

“I think just a better understanding of our offense and better chemistry with the receivers around me, I was able to kind of depict what is a smart decision versus a bad decision a lot faster, said Mills. “Also, you can anticipate throws and stuff like that when you know where a receiver’s going to end up. The more reps you had in a certain concept or a certain play, you can pull from that memory bank that I’ve talked about before. When you see a certain look, you know that somebody might be able to come open off that one or you need to progress past it throughout the play. Just things like that allow you to help.”

If the Texans commit to Mills in the offseason and give him first-team reps beginning with offseason workouts, it is possible the former Stanford product could develop as a serviceable starter in 2022.