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During the Texans' nine-week offseason program Womens Kris Russell Jersey , Deshaun Watson had a set of goals in mind.

The second-year quarterback out of Clemson, who is recovering from tearing his right ACL during practice last season, said he met and surpassed them by the end of the team's final veteran minicamp on Wednesday.

"Never satisfied, I always feel like I can do better," Watson said. "We'll get better. Those nine weeks I've gained a lot on and off the field. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and I've been able to take my game and me as a person to another level."

Going through this rehab process is not new to Watson.

In his freshman season at Clemson, Watson tore the ACL in his left knee during practice as well. Having been through it before and knowing the work he put in, Watson wasn't surprised about his progress.

"I kind of knew where I was going to be," Watson said. "I put the time Doug Williams Jersey , effort and work in every morning. Just been grinding, so I'm not surprised at all. I'm right where I need to be and where I want to be."

Despite having to recover from the injury, Watson feels as if he is ahead of where he was this time last year.

In 2017, Watson was selected No. 12 overall by the Texans and participated in the offseason program. During his second offseason in the NFL, his experience from the past year is paying dividends now.

"I'm light years away from where I was last year coming in," Watson said. "Just a rookie knowing what I knew from college and what I learned in the pre-draft and what I learned in the QB room. Everything was going so fast, a lot of information at that time.

"Having a full season and offseason with Coach (Bill) O'Brien and Coach Sean Ryan I've been able to advance my game and take my game to a whole other level. It's been great."

O'Brien has seen first-hand the improvement and development of the young quarterback.

"With the work ethic he has and the mindset that he has you're going to get better at knowledge of the offense, knowledge of the defense and your own mechanics," O'Brien said.

"There's just been a lot of improvement in a lot of different areas. He'll keep it going over the next five weeks and he'll be ready for training camp."

Heading into this year's training camp for the Texans, unlike in some past seasons, there is no doubt who will be taking the reps with the main offensive unit.

With everything being settled on that side Josh Norman Jersey , O'Brien said he knows how the reps will be divided.

The biggest benefit is the team knows exactly what they will start working on once training camp begins.

"This year we know who our starting quarterback is," O'Brien said. "Obviously we're very comfortable with that. That's a good thing for our football team. All that means is that we're settled there.

"It doesn't mean anything relative to last year. It just means hey look we've got to come in ready to go in training camp and we've got to continue where we left off from when he was the quarterback."

The Texans will finish their offseason program with meetings on Thursday before breaking for five weeks. Houston will open training camp at The Greenbrier in West Virginia at the end of July.

The Texans open their preseason at Kansas City on Aug. 9.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Blake Bortles was poised in the pocket and nearly perfect in one series of work, a significant improvement from the way his preseason started a year ago.

Bortles completed 6 of 9 passes for 53 yards and scored on a short bootleg in Jacksonville’s 24-20 loss to New Orleans in the exhibition opener for both teams Thursday night.

Bortles had a five-interception performance during a training camp practice in 2017 and continued to struggle during joint practices with New England. He was benched two weeks into the preseason and had to earn the starting job back.

A year later, his spot is as solid as just about anyone’s on the team. It showed against the Saints.

Playing without two starting offensive linemen — left guard Andrew Norwell (calf) and right tackle Jermey Parnell (precaution) — Bortles led the Jaguars on a 15-play, 79-yard drive to open the game. He converted both third-down passes he faced and finished off the series by going untouched around the right side.

“It’s a good way to start,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said.

Saints star Drew Brees got the night off, allowing backup Tom Savage to play the first half. Savage completed 10 of 14 passes for 70 yards. Brees only played in one preseason game in 2017.

“Early in the game, offensively and defensively, we struggled,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “There’s a lot we have to get cleaned up. We struggled the whole night Womens Antonio Brown Jersey , fundamental basic stuff. We had trouble with who’s on the ball, where our split is. We’ve got to go back to square one with some of that because that didn’t look good. It wasn’t a smooth operation.”

Mark Ingram, suspended the first four games of the regular season for violating NFL policy on performance enhancers, carried seven times for 23 yards and a touchdown. Ingram scored against Jacksonville’s backups and after a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty kept the drive alive.

NATIONAL ANTHEM

Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Telvin Smith, and running backs Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon remained in the locker room during the national anthem.

“It was a personal thing, man,” Fournette said. “Don’t really want to get into it. Everybody has their own beliefs and certain things. … I’m not really trying to get into it. It’s just something I believe in. I ain’t really trying to go into details about it. Just more focused on my teammates right now.”

Yeldon said he “just didn’t want to come out” during the anthem. Ramsey was no longer in the locker room when reporters entered after the game.

Smith offered the most insight, but declined to answers specific questions.

“As a man, I got certain beliefs,” said Smith http://www.buffalobillsteamonline.com/jason-croom-jersey , who wore “Salute the Service” cleats. “You know what I mean? This is not going to become a distraction, and Jacksonville’s not going to become a distraction for this team. I got beliefs. I did what I did. I don’t know if it’s going to be every week, can’t answer if it’s going to be every week.

“But as a man I’ve got to stand for something. I love my team, I’m dedicated to my teammates, and that’s what we’re talking about. I did what I did. It was love. I hope people see it and respect it. I respect views.”

GAME CHANGERS

The Saints overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win. Jayrone Elliott’s strip-sack set up rookie Jonathan Williams‘ 4-yard touchdown run with 2:16 remaining. Elliott had another strip-sack late in the game, but the Jaguars recovered.

SOLID OUTING

Jaguars backup quarterback Cody Kessler completed 14 of 17 passes for 139 yards, with a touchdown . Jacksonville acquired Kessler in a trade with Cleveland in March.

INJURIES

Saints backup cornerback P.J. Williams appeared to get the wind knocked out him while making a tackle. He jogged to the bench but later headed to the locker room. … The Jaguars had 10 guys who didn’t suit up, including All-Pro defensive end Calais Campbell (calf) and rookie defensive lineman Taven Bryan (abdomen).

UP NEXT

Saints host Arizona next Friday night.

Jaguars travel to Minnesota on Tuesday for two joint practices with the Vikings before their exhibition game on Aug. 18.

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