The story line that dominated the first day of Houston Texans veteran minicamp was the firing of general manager Brian Gaine on June 7.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson told reporters Tuesday that it caught him off guard, but it’s just the nature of pro football.
“Just like everyone else, it caught me off guard. It was just something that goes down in this business,” Watson said. “That’s all I can really pretty much say about that.”
Defensive end J.J. Watt, who has been the face of the Texans since at least the 2014 season when he collected his second of three NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors, was equally laconic.
“Yeah, it’s a tough business,” said Watt. “That’s obviously a decision for much higher than my head.”
The night it happened, Watt responded to a fan on Twitter stating that all he wanted to do was win.
On Tuesday, the response to the media was identical.
“So, like I said on Twitter, and it’s the truth, all I want to do is win,” Watt said. “I don’t care about anything else but winning. I want to win it for my teammates and I want to win it for these fans. Other than that, I don’t care. I want to win.”
The 2019 Texans won’t be affected by Gaine’s firing in early June, the weekend before minicamp. However, it could have an effect on the club’s commitment to maintaining a winning culture if they flub up Gaine’s successor.
Between June and January, it will be up to Watt and Watson to maintain chairman and chief operating officer Cal McNair’s vision of the Texans. If an 11-5 record and an AFC South title from a year ago is any indication, then the two Pro Bowlers have demonstrated sufficient talent to marshal their teammates to accomplish such a feat.