Bill O’Brien denies Rick Smith kept Deshaun Watson from starting week 1

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images /

Houston Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien says he decides which players start on his team.

A report came out this week from Matt Hammond of SportsRadio 610 that Houston Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien wanted to start rookie Deshaun Watson right away, but general manager Rick Smith told him that it would be better to wait and not rush him along.

O’Brien was asked about the report while talking to the media on Wednesday and refuted it.

From Texans Wire:

"“I don’t know where – look, I think, like I’ve said for umpteenth time, we have an organization here that works very well together,” O’Brien stated, clearly agitated. “I decide who plays, Rick is in charge of personnel. I’m in charge of the 46-man gameday roster. I feel like every decision that I make is in the best interest of the team.”"

O’Brien made it clear that he doesn’t have any problems with Smith and that they work well together.

"“Rick and I talk every single day about the roster, we go over every player. We just met this morning on the roster, we met yesterday on the roster. We have a good relationship. I don’t know. I just can’t understand it.”"

O’Brien could in fact be telling the truth, or he could be lying. He has a lot more to lose if he were to admit that Smith is the reason that Watson didn’t start the first game of the season.

For one, it would make Smith look bad since Tom Savage flopped and Watson has been playing lights out over the past two weeks.

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O’Brien also has to give off the impression that he’s on the same page as Smith and that they’re unified. If he doesn’t it could cause some issues within the Texans’ front office.

This ultimately a non-story since it only took two quarters before Savage was benched in favor of Watson.

Savage beginning the regular season as the Texans’ starting quarterback hasn’t really affected their year. I’m not sure that having Watson start back in week one would have changed the outcome because whether you like it or not, the Jacksonville Jaguars defense is really good this year.

Give us your thoughts in the comments section below. Do you think if Watson would have started against the Jags, the Texans would have won that game?