What's next: Watson & Texans


Cal McNair, chairman of the Houston Texans, made it clear early in January that the franchise needed a new identity.

First-time head coach David Culley declined to answer questions about quarterback Deshaun Watson, who faced 22 lawsuits alleging sexual assault and inappropriate conduct and requested a trade in January. Culley was asked whether Watson was participating in Houston's organized team activities on Thursday.

“We have nothing more to say,” Culley said. “We’ve talked about the Deshaun situation … nothing’s new on that.” He hasn't been to the facility? “I have nothing to say about that situation,” Culley said.

The question was later asked of Culley whether he is satisfied with turnout at the team's spring workouts. He said the team has “had everybody on the Zoom meeting to this point.”

 Later, when Culley was asked to clarify whether the entire roster has been taking part in the meetings, he said, “Yes, everybody’s been on the Zoom meetings.”

Including Watson?

“I have nothing to say about Deshaun at this point,” Culley said.

For now, the most pressing concern for the Texans is Watson's status. Due to the quarterback's trade request and legal situation, his status for 2021 is unclear.

A portion of OTAs was made available to the media earlier in the day. Members of the media were handed a roster that listed players alphabetically, without numbers. Despite the jerseys having numbers assigned, there are 50 players listed on the team's website who do not have assigned numbers, despite wearing those numbers at practice. 

Upon being asked why there are no numbers on the team roster, a team representative explained that because of the rule changes for jersey numbers, the list had not been finalized.

The team website has also removed specific positions, such as guards, centers, and all but one tackle listed as simply "OL," for offensive lineman. Cornerbacks and safeties are no longer distinguished; the defensive backs are collectively referred to as "DB."

“Basically, we’ve created competition at all positions and that’s what we want to see and that’s what we want to get done out there,” Culley said, when asked about the lack of numbers on the roster. “That’s what’s happening right now. It’s really not so much the numbers ... [but] that there’s competition at all positions out there. That was the intention of when we put this roster together was to create that, and that’s what’s happening right now.”

Taylor, who signed a deal with the Texans on March 16, has not spoken to the media. Houston's first pick in the draft, quarterback Davis Mills, has not been made available since the night he was selected.

Training camp will be full of competition once it starts. Because the Texans aren't giving away much right now, the cloud of Watson remains the most prominent storyline surrounding the team.

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