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Texans OC Sums Up Deshaun Watson's Mindset Right Now

Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson walking off the field after a game against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans walks off the field after the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 23, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Texans 32-30. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Houston Texans are going to be leaning even more heavily on quarterback Deshaun Watson this coming season. The team made the pretty unpopular move of shipping superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.

In return, the Texans got running back David Johnson, who has been one of the best in the NFL at points throughout his career. He has dealt with injuries pretty consistently, though, and was usurped by Kenyan Drake in Arizona last year. The team also acquired receivers Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb, useful players but probably not replacements for Hopkins.

Watson probably isn't thrilled by the Hopkins trade. Entering his fourth year in the league, disappointing a young superstar quarterback probably isn't the best move that the Texans could make. He could walk after next season, as the Texans have already picked up his fifth-year option for the 2021 season. The team is expected to offer him a big long-term deal.

Deshaun Watson is known as a good teammate and a team-first guy though, so even if he's not happy, he'll probably be professional over the next few years. The Texans coaching staff expects big things from him this fall. According to his offensive coordinator, he's excited for what's to come.

“I think Deshaun’s excited,” Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I don’t want to speak for him, but with the communication that we’ve had these however many days throughout this virtual offseason, he’s come in with a great mindset, coming in, trying to get better at some areas and really take grasp of the offense. He’s doing a great job as far as that’s concerned."

This year will be very different for Kelly as well. He enters his second year as Texans coordinator, but his first as play caller under Bill O'Brien.

“I think you always — if you’re calling plays or you’re a part of the play calling process, you want to make sure that you’re seeing the game through same set of eyes as the quarterback, that you’re all on the same page, that you all have the same vision of the play when the play gets called. That’s something where as we continue to grow, that’s going to be important. And yeah, there’s things that Deshaun needs to get better at, as all of us need to improve on.

“We’ve talked about that with him, coming out and being consistent and playing at that — he’s set the bar so high, so it’s really a challenge for him to be able to play at that level every time he steps on the field.”

Watson has plenty of work to do himself, but the Texans absolutely need to prove to Watson that they're committed to doing what's best for his career, and winning at a high level, as well. It's very hard to argue that moving Hopkins for the return that the team got was an effective example of that.

[Houston Chronicle]