The first time Tim Kelly will call plays for the Houston Texans offense in a regular season game will be in Week 1 at Kansas City. Back in February, head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien announced that he would be handing over play-calling duties to his offensive coordinator. However, that was before COVID-19 shut down facilities and offseason programs across the NFL.
"Being a first time play caller, obviously, as elementary as it may sound, you're doing everything for the first time, right?" Kelly said in his Zoom press conference Wednesday. "So, you know, being able to put yourself in those situations with live bullets, the first time that happens in Kansas City, is going to be the first time that I'm doing it where it actually counts."
Kelly, who will also coach quarterbacks in 2020, enters his second season as the Texans offensive coordinator. He assumed some play-calling duties during the 2019 preseason, an experience even more valuable considering the NFL's cancellation of this year's preseason contests. Kelly has held several positions on the Texans coaching staff since his arrival in 2014 with O'Brien, including tight ends coach (2017-18), assistant offensive line coach (2016) and offensive quality control coach (2014-16). His familiarity with the roster will help him dial up plays for Deshaun Watson and the offense this year.
"Knowing the roster, you know, it's good to be able to know what the strengths and weaknesses are of the different players so you can take advantage of what they do well," Kelly said. "Try to capitalize on their strengths and the different matchup issues that they may present."
The Texans kick off their 2020 regular season on Thursday, September 10 against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:20 p.m. CT on NBC and SportsRadio 610.