The NFL rookie learning curve is a steep climb but Deshaun Watson is scaling it one day at a time.
The Texans first-round pick has impressed with his work ethic. However, only game reps can prepare him for NFL action. It's why head coach Bill O'Brien loves to recreate situational football scenarios during practice as teachable moments for all players, not just rookies. Whether it's a hurry-up offense with no timeouts left or a game-winning play on fourth down, Watson has enjoyed learning through the simulated high-pressure situations.
"It's always good," Watson said. "Coach OB (Bill O'Brien) does a great job of throwing different things at us at practice, not being really aware of, just kind putting us in uncomfortable positions. They always say get comfortable being uncomfortable, so I think that was a cool thing for us to do."
Preparing for all different scenarios is one way for players, especially rookies like Watson, to anticipate how to respond during a game. Watson may not have suited up for a Texans game yet, but his three seasons at Clemson prepared him for the spotlight of playing in the NFL. The two-time Heisman Trophy finalist compiled a 32-3 record as a starter and led the Tigers to a national championship title last season.
"It just got me ready for the opportunity," Watson said. "Each time I take the field I'm going out there full-throttle, prepared, mentally sharp, physically ready, and whatever opportunity that steps in front of me, that I'm full ready for it. Clemson made sure that everyone comes ready for whatever opportunity I have, and (I'm) prepared for it."
The Texans will report for training camp in July. The Houston Texans Training Camp presented by XFINITY will begin on Wednesday, July 26 at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. The 2017 training camp marks the first time in franchise history that the Texans will hold camp outside of the city of Houston.
Check out some of the best shots from the second day of veteran minicamp.