DeShaun Watson, Houston Texans, Prison Inmates And More

DeShaun Watson is ready for the remix of a redemption song that only lasted seven record-setting NFL games due to injury. Watson brought an unprecedented electricity to the Houston Texans franchise in 2017 and played magnificently against the best quarterbacks in the game. He hit the grid with a chip on his shoulder, which was intensified by being drafted after some unknown project named Mitchell Trubisky and raw-skilled Patrick Mahomes. 

The praise came from far and wide. 

NFL on ESPN on Twitter

Richard Sherman knows a legendary QB when he sees one.

Those seven games earned Watson the 2018 Sports Illustrated cover this preseason. Finally healthy and ready to rock out, Watson finds himself in a familiar place, facing the pressure of proving his worth. 

Sports Illustrated on Twitter

COVER STORY: @deshaunwatson is back and stronger than ever in SI’s 2018 NFL Preview (by @GregBishopSI)

With last season far in the rear-view and pro football being a “what have you done for me lately” league, Watson has to double back and show that those seven games werent a fluke. Some NFL analysts arent convinced that Watson is “that guy” and they show him the same disrespect that NFL teams did on Draft Day in 2017. 

Marc Ryan on Twitter

Deshaun Watson, ladies and gentlemen. 20th best quarterback in the NFL .

Others know that the Texans are blessed. Watson raises his game when his back is up against the wall. Remember 2016?  Watson completed 36-of-56 passes for 420 yards and three touchdowns against Alabamas top-ranked defense in a 35-31 win for the national championship.  Watson proved he was ready for primetime. Easily worth a Top 3 pick, Watson dropped to the Texans at 12. It turned out to be the steal of the draft. He promised to make the doubters pay and he did. 

FOX Sports: NFL on Twitter

This is what happens when you pass on Deshaun Watson

 By his third practice, he had dudes comparing him to Warren Moon

John McClain on Twitter

I covered Warren Moon from from Day 1 for 10 years. At his 3rd practice, Watson reminds me of Moon n his first camp in 1984. So smooth!

Watsons emergence gave the Texans a pride it had never experienced. Located in the same state as the popular Dallas Cowboys, the Texans could now boast about their own superstar franchise quarterback. 

However, when the Clemson star’s rookie season abruptly ended, his shocking absence set off a domino effect of negative vibes, losses on the field and contentiousness between the owners, players, and fans in the midst of player protests. A promising season turned to mush. The icing on the cake of controversy was owner Bob McNairs racially offensive comments comparing NFL players to inmates. The majority of the Texans players took a knee in retaliation.

McNair’s comments came a month after President Donald Trump referred to kneeling players as “sons of bitches,” an insult that he followed with repeated outbursts on Twitter. McNair was also very influential in the owners’ decision to keep Colin Kaepernick out of any negotiation or conversation between the players and owners concerning player protests. 

Slate on Twitter

Slate has obtained emails showing @Kaepernick7 has been frozen out of discussions between NFL players and owners:

At that point, the magnificence of Watsons arrival kind of drifted into the background as his owners racist persona was revealed. 

The Texans are getting through camp without any problems, but the relationship between the players and ownership has to be tense and strained. McNair showed his true colors during the players-owners meetings. At this point, winning is the only thing that can settle that riff.  The Texans success starts and ends with Watson, who I doubt is feeling any pressure because he shines against insurmountable odds. Watson’s looking sharp and his return should change the culture in the Texans locker room and galvanize the fans, players, and ownership. 

Seth Payne on Twitter

Every Deshaun Watson throw from the 49ers game

If Watson falters, then everything could go bad quickly. The pressure is on him to ball out and on Bob McNair to keep his mouth shut and not alienate the players with more of his curmudgeonous rantings. If those two things happen, the Texans could almost flip that 4-12 record of last year upside down. 

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