Watson, Williams Introduced to New NFL Homes

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HOUSTON (ESPN) — New Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson said he is prepared to wait for his turn to start, regardless of when that happens.

The Texans traded their 2017 first-round pick (No. 25) and their first-round pick in 2018 to the Cleveland Browns to acquire the No. 12 pick and select Watson. Despite the high price, Texans general manager Rick Smith and coach Bill O’Brien said Thursday night that Tom Savage would be the Texans’ starter next season.

When Watson was asked whether he would embrace the role of backup while learning the playbook, if that’s what the Texans want to do, he said, “I think that’s the best way.”

“Learn from the veteran guys, play whatever role I have,” Watson said in his introductory press conference on Friday. “But my main focus is getting here, learning about this city, learning about this organization, learning this system, and just being the best teammate I can be, whatever role that is. And just enjoying that.”

“I know it’s going to be a challenge, which is what I’m up for. But also, I have a lot to learn, so I’m anxious to get here and get to work and learn from Brandon Weeden and Tom Savage, two guys that I’m a huge fan of, who I watched when they were in college. So it’s going to be a fun ride.”

Since the Texans traded their 2016 starting quarterback, Brock Osweiler, to the Browns last month, Smith and O’Brien have repeated that they are “comfortable” with Savage starting in 2017. Both have also said it is challenging for a rookie quarterback to start. Regardless, Watson will have the chance to compete with Savage for the starting job during OTAs and training camp.

In his senior season at Clemson, Watson threw for 4,593 yards and 41 touchdowns, leading the Tigers to a national title.

LOS ANGELES (Chargers.com) — It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours for Mike Williams.  Since the Chargers selected him seventhoverall Thursday night, the wide receiver caught a plane early Friday morning to head to his new home in Los Angeles.

Nevertheless, Williams is truly living in the moment.  He admitted the surreal feeling of being drafted in the NFL still hasn’t left since Commissioner Roger Goodell read his name in Philadelphia.

“It’s still kind of a dream come true,” Williams said.  “It’s everything I’ve dreamed of; with my mom last night and the rest of my family, it felt like a dream come true.  Just for everybody to come there who helped me get to this moment, my family (and) my friends.  Just to celebrate with those guys was fun.”

Williams said he was able to get in quality time with his family and friends before coming to the west coast.  While he was the second receiver taken in this year’s draft, his pre-draft prognostication was pretty spot on.

“(I felt like I could go) anywhere from five to 15…. I felt like there were some teams there who needed receivers.  I felt like three receivers could come off the board during that time period.”

At 6-4, 218 pounds, Williams’ frame and skills helped lead his alma mater of Clemson to the College Football National Championship this past January.  He comes from a long line of esteemed Tigers and felt like hearing his name called helped him keep the Clemson wide receiver pedigree going strong.

“Those guys set the platform.  Guys like Jacoby Ford, Sammy Watkins, (DeAndre) Hopkins, Martavis Bryant (and) Charone Peake.  They set the (standard) so I’m just keeping it going and passing the torch to the younger guys coming in after me.  We just wanted to keep the ‘Wide Receiver U’ thing going and I felt like I did a good job.”

During the 2015 season, Williams was sidelined by a serious neck injury.  Having made a full recovery in 2016, the injury taught him so much more than he ever imagined.

“I felt like everything happens for a reason.  I came back to Clemson and got my degree, (and) came out with a National Championship.  The injury just put my game to the next level because it just showed me that I (can’t) take anything for granted.  The game can be taken from me at any time.  I just (used) that injury for a lot of motivation.”

Settling into his new digs in LA, Williams is excited to take his game to the next level.  While he joins a powerful group of Chargers wideouts, he’s most looking forward to catching passes from number 17, ultimately fulfilling his “dream come true” of playing in the NFL.

“He actually texted me last night after the LA Chargers selected me.  It was pretty good just to see him text me. He just congratulated me and said he’s ready to work.  I just hit him back like, ‘Let’s get it!  I need to learn this playbook so we can catch a few balls and have some fun.’  …The passion that Philip has for the game, you can just see it on TV every Sunday. Just watching him play, he’s going to be a future Hall of Famer.  Just for me to catch passes from him is going to be an amazing feeling.”


Categories: Clemson, Local Sports, Sports