Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson, Tim Kelly duo can be successful

Houston Texans OC Tim Kelly is looking forward to calling plays Deshaun Watson in 2020.

When Tim Kelly was named the official play caller as offensive coordinator this offseason, the Houston Texans and quarterback Deshaun Watson had to know things might change a little bit for the 2020 NFL season.

Kelly will add some new wrinkles and make his own changes to the offensive play calling — duties once held by head coach Bill O’Brien — but one thing that will remain the same is working with Deshaun Watson as the starting quarterback.

For Kelly, he’s hit the jackpot in getting the opportunity to call plays for Deshaun Watson in an offense that will surprise many and will have to have a new look compared to last season. Granted, players have changed on the Texans offensive roster compared to a season ago, but with Deshaun Watson still at quarterback, that is the most important player to have returning.

Watson has played in 38 regular-season games with 37 of those games being starts, compiling a 24-13 overall record in his first three seasons as the starting quarterback. The interesting part of Watson’s quarterback history with the Texans is the fact O’Brien has been the play caller for all of those games, so hearing a new voice in his helmet on game days will be a slight change.

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In some advanced stats of Deshaun Watson from the 2019 season, he was blitzed 167 times where he had 47 QB hurries against him, and he was hit 39 times, which was 20 fewer times than in 2018. Overall, Watson was pressured 130 times, again less than the 2018 number of 198 times, and he averages 7.1 yards rushing per scramble, as that number was 44 times.

Now the question about Kelly and Deshaun Watson is can they take the next step in their coach-player relationship and have success with Kelly calling the plays during in-game situations? That will be the biggest test of all for the Texans to have success this season.

Houston Texans: Tim Kelly speaks with excitement about Deshaun Watson

Kelly spoke in a Houston Texans news press conference this week with quotes provided by NFL Communications, as he had the following to say about the fourth-year quarterback Deshaun Watson:

“It’s been a real joy to coach him over the past year and however long it’s been. I think you hit on the head with really his willingness to come in every day even though he has performed at such a high level, he’s come in every day willing to learn and willing to get better at simple things that we think can elevate his game. It’s been a joy to coach him. He comes in with a great mindset. He’s a great example to the other players in the locker room. We look forward to continuing to work with him.”

This new partnership between the offensive coordinator and Watson as to how plays will be called can’t be underestimated. The coordinator and player must be on the same page has to work, and if it does start off slow, would O’Brien want the play-calling duties back in his control?

All of that said, Kelly and Watson should work out just fine as there seems to be a mutual respect, and it helps Kelly has been a part of the coaching staff, even if he hasn’t called the plays in-game before.

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Deshaun Watson and the Texans offense can have success this season. They might have lost some top players from last season, but if this new duo of play caller and quarterback works, the rest of the offense will be just fine as well.

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