Bill O'Brien Says They Have To "Fix" Pass Protection Problems

The Bull Rush
December 17, 2018 - 4:25 pm

© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) - Texans QB Deshaun Watson was sacked six times on Saturday against the Jets.

Six times.

As improved as the offense has been from a running and taking care of the ball stand point for the majority of the season, one thing remains the same.

This offense can't protect its quarterback and Head Coach Bill O'Brien know it, "We’ve got to try to fix it, but what I think I was trying to say, and it’s true, after the game was that it’s always pinned on the offensive line. There are certain things that, without giving you all the details, that we have to do better on the offensive line, but there’s also route-running involved. There’s so many things that go into a sack. The backs, are the backs protecting the right guy? Is Deshaun (Watson) holding the ball a little bit? Could the ball come out quicker? Is the receiver running the route the same way? Is the play call a great play call in that situation? There are so many different things that go into the end result of a sack. We’ve got to figure that out, though. We have to really try to get that cut down. It’s not going to be easy because now we’re going against (Michael) Bennett, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. It only gets harder. That’s what we’re spending time on today trying to get figured out," O'Brien said Monday.

The Texans have done a good job of keeping Watson safe most of the year through a combination of a successful run game, clever play calling, and Watson himself making correct decisions for the most part. However, the the last two weeks have show that against constant pressure and a lot of blitzing, this offense does a bad job of keeping its most important player upright.

If the offensive line, wide recievers, running backs, and Watson himself can find a way to keep opposing defenses from putting up rampant sack numbers, the team has a good chance to beat anybody. Watson might be the most important key to that equation as a combination of indecision and holding onto the ball too long have given defenses the time to reach him.

Luckily for the Texans, Watson also excels in late game situations as well. With the win over the Jets, that puts Watson at a total of five 4th quarter and OT wins on the season.

When asked what it is that Watson has to allow him to put together so many clutch wins, O'Brien had more than a few things to say, "Poise. Poise, that’s number one. You’ve got to be able to think the game and think it quickly, so you can’t be a nervous wreck, that’s for sure. You’ll have no chance. Knowledge. Knowledge of your own system, knowledge of your own players and knowledge of what you think the defense is going to do. Then, you have to be able to make the play. You’ve got to be able to make the throw, get us into the right protection, go to the right people. You’ve got to have good guys around you that are on the same page, no doubt about it. But, I think the number one thing is the fact that he’s been in that situation before, and he’ll be in that situation again. He enjoys those situations, that’s where the poise, the enjoyment of the situation is pretty rare," he said.

Hopefully the Texans can solve their pass blocking woes this Sunday against a pretty good pass rush in the Philadelphia Eagles.