All the reasons Deshaun Watson's situation is nothing like James Harden's

There's still time smooth things over with Deshaun. Photo by Getty Images. Composite image by Brandon Strange

In what might be a week filled with the most drama in recent Houston sports history, big things are afoot.

The Rockets sent James Harden packing in a blockbuster deal with the Brooklyn Nets. Short term, it will be painful, but in the longterm, the Rockets made the right move for their future. They got as far as they could with Harden, who is not going to get better at this stage of his career. Harden pouted his way out of Houston and acted like a petulant child. He got his wish, but the Rockets will be better for it down the road.

Of course, national media compared Harden's case to that of Deshaun Watson, who is not happy with the Texans - and he shouldn't be. As usual, that's a lazy, hot take narrative.

The situations could not be more different. Harden has had his way with the Rockets for years. They have brought in multiple stars to try to appease him and win a title, and none of them worked out. Harden is near the end of his dominance as a player, and time is running short for him to add a title to his resume. The deal made sense for both parties. Harden gets to try again with Kevin Durant, and the Rockets move on.

As great of a player as he was, Harden never saw that he was the problem. There's that old poker adage, put so well by Mike McD in Rounders - "If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker." Harden was the sucker at the table.

Deshaun Watson is not. He has not publicly said anything other than a cryptic tweet. He has not demanded a trade. Watson does have a right to be angry as the Texans have made one dumb move after another, and they clearly lied to him about having an input on the GM search. Andre Johnson's flame-throwing tweet only added to the drama.

SO of course rumors are already swirling about potential Watson trades. But unlike the Harden mess, Watson's can be fixed.

New GM Nick Caserio will have to smooth things over, but he has already made strides by requesting an interview with Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, Watson's reportedly preferred choice at head coach.

While the Texans could conceivably trade Watson - and you could make a pretty good case for doing it - this isn't in the same ballpark as Harden. It's not in Watson's DNA to not show up for camp and cause discord, which is the only way he could force a deal. The more likely scenario is he gets his voice heard in the coaching search, and that appeases him. It's on Caserio to make that happen. It also means it is time to part ways with Jesus Jack Easterby, who has become the city's latest sports villain. Johnson's tweet made sure of that.

Watson has every right to be miffed. He had to live with Bill O'Brien's dictatorial rule for three-plus years. His best weapon was traded away for peanuts. And the goofball owner, Cal McNair, lied to him about keeping him in the loop on hires. In short, the Texans have become a joke of an organization.

But that can be fixed. Caserio is a sharp guy, and he will figure out how to smooth this over. Getting the coaching hire right - with Watson's input - could easily change the narrative. The more Caserio and the new coach get out front, the less McNair and Easterby can screw up.

In the end, it should get worked out, and all of this will be meaningless. Sure, Watson could decide enough's enough and pout his way out of town like Harden. But that's a long shot. Harden's time had passed in Houston. Watson is still getting started. His best years are ahead of him.

But it's time for the Texans to stop stepping on their own cranks and get the right coach and players in house, and stop letting Easterby have any say whatsoever. McNair needs to have the right people in place and trust them to do their jobs. Hopefully Caserio is that guy, and we will find out when he hires a coach. If they ignore Watson again? Then you can compare it to Harden. But it's hard to see that happening. Then again, hardly anything surprises with the dysfunctional Texans these days.

Until then, the drama continues. But don't expect it to end the way Harden's tenure did.

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The Houston Texans have just a couple of practices before their preseason debut. Here are 11 observations from Tuesday’s workout.

1.The offense stunk on Tuesday. It was inconsistent and resembled more of last year’s disappointing performances than any other practices in this training camp.

2. Davis Mills and his receivers had a few miscommunications on Tuesday. Mills sailed a pass to nobody when he and Brandin Cooks weren’t on the same page. There were some other throws to nowhere in the day. It was something that hadn’t been present at all in training camp to this point.

3. There were a few “good coverage” notes on Tuesday. Not to say there was one specific player, but a handful of team-level efforts that led to the note.

4. It wasn’t all wrong from the offense. After a pass to nowhere Davis Mills and the offense bounced back. It was a second down during a team drill and Mills fired a pass to Chris Moore for six yards. Rex Burkhead would pick up a first down on a rush a play later. A non-positive play last year on first down doomed this team. That hopefully won’t be the case for this year’s team.

5. Chad Beebe is going into his fifth season in the NFL, his first with the Texans. The former Vikings pass catcher has flashed a few times in training camp. He has an uphill battle being new to the team but is trying to make himself a factor.

6. Phillip Dorsett had a big catch over the middle. Davis Mills stood back and delivered as the offensive line held up and Dorsett reeled it in for a huge gain. No defenders were around him. It is between Dorsett and Chris Moore for the chance to be the slot wideout opening day. With Dorsett’s return to practice, it is becoming a fun camp battle.

7.Speaking of returns to practice, Tytus Howard was back. Howard has his reps managed and after practice, offensive line coach George Warhop Howard was “getting his wind” back. When Howard was having his reps managed rookie tackle Austin Deculus played at right tackle. Deculus looks much more consistent than minicamp and OTAs.

8. Kenyon Green is still out with an injury. It is getting to a critical time where the time missed might prevent the first-rounder from starting week one. Max Scharping hasn’t looked bad in his chances with the first team. Offensive line coach George Warhop said they believe in Green and his ability and he has been in meetings to stay up to date.

9. Ka’imi Fairbairn was perfect in one of the special team periods. He drilled all five kicks, each further than the last, and was crushing the football.

10. Derek Stingley was very sticky in some early reps on Nico Collins. The third overall pick is so smooth when he is working. Later his coverage forced a throw from the offense that had no chance of being completed.

11. The play of the day was made by Derek Stingley. The offense was about five or six yards out of the end zone needing a touchdown to win. With six seconds left on the clock, any completed pass that wasn’t a touchdown was game over. Davis Mills dropped back a step and fired to Nico Collins who Stingley covered. The rookie kept the second-year player out of the end zone to earn the defense a win. This was one of the better Stingley days and he did a lot of work. At one point, it looked as though he and Rex Burkhead had some words and almost led to an offense and defense scuffle, but it stayed to just some shouting. The rookie shined today.

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