Rick Smith: Deshaun Watson ‘will compete’ for starting job

By Michael Dixon

Given that the Houston Texans traded up in the 2017 NFL Draft to select Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, it’s fair to wonder when we might see him in the field.

Head coach Bill O’Brien has stated that Tom Savage is still the team’s starter. But on ESPN Radio’s Stephen A. Smith Show, general manager Rick Smith said that Watson will have his chance to earn the job.

“We want to provide a competitive environment across the board. So [Watson will] compete,” the general manager said, as transcribed by ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. “[But] like I said, we feel good about Tom and his abilities to manage the offense. But yeah, [Watson] will come in, and just like every other guy on the roster, he’ll have time to play.”

Despite the recent success of rookies starting from Day 1 (Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson), plenty of teams are still hesitant to start rookie quarterbacks in Week 1. But Savage has played in five games (starting twice) since entering the NFL, has completed less than 61 percent of his passes, has no touchdowns, an interception, and a 74.9 passer rating.

Is he really going to be the guy to keep Watson holding a clipboard?

It’s possible that O’Brien and the Texans may opt to start Savage in the early weeks of the 2017 season. But even if that happens, it just feels like a matter of time before Watson is the guy in Houston. The team didn’t give up that much only to see Watson backing up Savage.