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Deshaun Watson Says Texans Need 'A Whole Culture Shift' and 'New Energy'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) kneels / sits on the field in frustration during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
Matt Patterson/Associated Press

Deshaun Watson clearly isn't looking for a Bill O'Brien clone in the Houston Texans' next head coach. 

Watson spoke to reporters Monday, saying the franchise needs "a whole culture shift" after a frustrating 4-12 season.

"We just need a whole culture shift," Watson said. "We just need new energy. We just need discipline. We need structure. We need a leader so we can follow that leader as players. That's what we need."

Eight of Houston's 12 losses came by one score, thanks in large part to Watson's sheer brilliance. Watson led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards along with 33 touchdowns against seven interceptions while adding 444 yards and three scores on the ground, doing it all with a below-average supporting cast.

In one of the more befuddling transactions in recent league history, the Texans traded  DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona in a deal that netted them just a second-round pick, a 2021 fourth-rounder and running back David Johnson. O'Brien then sent a second to the Los Angeles Rams for Brandin Cooks.

The move essentially boiled down to a Hopkins for Johnson and Cooks deal, a ghastly return made even worse by the well-above-market salaries for both players and Hopkins' reasonable contract.

While Cooks had a 1,000-yard season and Johnson led the Texans with 691 rushing yards, the water got so toxic for O'Brien that the team moved on after an 0-4 start. The former coach/general manager's moves left the team without first- and second-round picks in the 2021 draft and without significant cap space to fortify the roster elsewhere.

If it weren't for the presence of Watson, this would be by far the worst head-coaching opening on the market. 

"We've all got to be on the same page," Watson said. "There's too many different minds, too many different ideas and too many people thinking they have this power, and it's not like that. We need someone that stands tall, and this is who we follow and this is the way it goes."   

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