For the second year in a row, the Houston Texans are working in a new head coach and heading into the offseason with a star quarterback who wants out. Still, new lead man Lovie Smith believes that his starting quarterback for next season could already be on the roster, and it’s not Deshaun Watson, but instead second-year signal-caller Davis Mills.
“You don’t give out starting positions in the spring, but I love what Davis has done. He’s our quarterback going into the season,” Smith told Rich Eisen, per Pro Football Talk. “There’s a lot of positions I’m worried about. Quarterback is not one of them.”
“I love what Davis Mills did last year, I feel real good about Davis leading our team, we’ve just got to get better people around him.”
As for Watson, much has yet to be figured out when it comes to his situation. Not only do the Texans want to ensure they get a fair return for the star quarterback, but he has to be cleared of his off-field issues first. Watson is facing 22 civil lawsuits and a criminal investigation by the Houston Police Department for alleged sexual misconduct. The NFL could also discipline him under their personal conduct policy.
It’s unknown when a resolution will come, but Smith says that the situation will be resolved in time.
“I don’t really know Deshaun that way since he wasn’t really involved last year,” Smith said. “Time takes care of a lot of things and time will take care of that situation too, with a favorable situation for Deshaun and us.”
In 13 games with 11 starts in his rookie season, Mills completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 2,664 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The third-round pick out of Stanford went 2-9 as the starter, but did improve as the season went on. In the final game of the regular season against the AFC’s No. 1 seed Titans, Mills torched Tennessee’s secondary for 301 yards and three touchdowns. He split starts with Tyrod Taylor, but the veteran journeyman is now a free agent, and it doesn’t sound like he will be back — at least not in a starting role.
While Smith says he’s confident in Mills, he told NBC Sports’ Peter King recently that the Texans could possibly add a “great” quarterback, while bringing up the fact that Houston holds the No. 3 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.