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Bill O’Brien: Changing the Texans’ offense is a big project this offseason

Texans coach Bill O'Brien discusses how challenging constructing a new offense is for Deshaun Watson and when Houston can expect its star quarterback back on the field.

Texans coach Bill O’Brien has run his own offensive system since he was offensive coordinator in New England, head coach at Penn State and at the start of his tenure in Houston. But that was before he had Deshaun Watson.

O’Brien said this morning on PFT Live that now that he has Watson as his franchise quarterback, he is making significant changes to his offense to make sure it takes advantage of Watson’s unique skills, as well as the skills of star receiver DeAndre Hopkins and other talented players on Houston’s roster.

“It’s a very big project but it’s a lot of fun. It’s fun to get in there with the offensive staff and figure out how we can do things differently than we’ve done in the past. I think you have to be willing to change in this league relative to the talent you have,” O’Brien said. “Deshaun has a unique skill set at the position and we’re looking at his skill set as well as Hopkins, Will Fuller, Lamar Miller, D’Onta Foreman, Ryan Griffin some of the other guys we have on offense and really trying to put it all together.”

The most important priority will be keeping Watson healthy after he suffered a season-ending knee injury last year.

“Deshaun has a style of play that allows himself to stay out of trouble most of the time. He knows when to slide, he knows when to duck out of bounds, he’s got a good instinct for the game,” O’Brien said. “The other thing we’ve tried to do is improve the offensive line and that’s something we’re going to continue to try to do. We have to do a better job of protection. We have to coach it better, we have to play better. I think that’s going to help him.”

Last year Watson spent training camp and the preseason as a backup and didn’t start until Week Two. This year, with an offense built around him and a full offseason of work, Watson could be even better. As long as he’s healthy.