HOUSTON -- Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson said he "of course" wants head coach Bill O'Brien to return next season.
O'Brien has one season remaining on the five-year contract he signed when he became the Texans' coach in 2014. It is unlikely the team would allow him to coach the final year of the deal without signing him to a contract extension in the offseason.
"That's out of my control, but I would love to have Coach O'Brien with me," Watson said Tuesday after surprising quarterback J.T. Daniels with the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award. "We have a great relationship. Ever since the draft process, we've been communicating. We talk football, we talk about life. And we have a lot things that kind of relate, the way we were both raised up. So we kind of connected [and have] been ever since."
Watson credited O'Brien with being "a big part" of the success he had in seven games before he tore his ACL in early November. This season, Watson completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He had a QBR of 81.5. The rookie also ran for 269 yards and two touchdowns.
"[O'Brien is] the one calling the plays, the one helping me out with the decision-making, him and Coach [Sean] Ryan," Watson said. "He does a great job that the quarterbacks are doing what they need to do."
Watson is nearly six weeks out from his Nov. 8 surgery to repair the ACL in his right leg, and he said his rehab is "going great." Watson was initially given a timeline of eight to nine months to return to the field after surgery. Watson said that right now he expects to be back soon after the Texans' OTAs.
"It's a daily grind, a daily process," Watson said. "We're on the right track of six weeks out, and everything's been going smooth."