Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards but the 2020 season was dreadful for the Texans, who fired coach and general manager Bill O’Brien after four games and limped to a 4-12 record.
One day after the campaign ended with a 41-38 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Watson was blunt in his assessment of the franchise as it searches for a new coach.
“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.”
Watson will certainly be able to provide input on openings at coach and general manager with upper management. He indicated he spoke to Texans CEO Cal McNair on Sunday and one of his suggestions was to retain offensive coordinator Tim Kelly.
Kelly helped Watson enjoy his best statistical season while being named a Pro Bowler for the third straight year. The yardage was a franchise record, as was Watson’s 33 touchdown passes.
“His understanding of defenses, run schemes and concepts and knowledge of the game of football is very bright,” Watson said of Kelly. “He helped me take my game to a new level and play the best football of my career.”
The 25-year-old also threw just seven interceptions while completing a career-best 70.2 percent of his passes. The stellar season came after the Texans traded top target DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals prior to the campaign.
Romeo Crennel took over as interim coach after O’Brien’s firing and went 4-8, including five straight losses to end the season.
The Texans had a lot of friction in the organization during O’Brien’s stint. Watson would like to see a more cohesive environment moving forward.
“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.”