Deshaun Watson is a dynamic quarterback, but there’s a role he can play in also protecting himself.
Houston Texans Deshaun Watson is an exciting player without question. As a native Houstonian, I’m glad the Texans made the decision to trade up for him in the 2017 NFL Draft, even though it cost the Texans a year without a first round pick the following year.
The Texans were so putrid at quarterback prior to him being drafted that they were willing to go a year without a second round pick just to get rid of Brock Osweiler, who they had just spent big money on.
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The concern with Watson will be keeping him healthy and off the turf, neither of which happened in Watson’s first two years in the league. The Texans have allowed a combined 116 sacks over the last two years, which is the most sacks surrendered during that time span.
To be clear, Watson’s torn ACL was not necessarily related to sacks, as it was a freak injury he suffered in practice. However, if the Texans can’t keep Watson from getting sacked more than any other quarterback — as was the case in 2018 — he will likely not last much longer.
Part of the sacks issue is of coursethe Texans lack of an offensive line which they’ve arguably not addressed. There’s an element to the amount of times Watson gets sacked that falls on his shoulders.
Watson is oftentimes holding onto the ball much too long as he is understandably trying to extend plays and allow receivers to break off their routes. This is an element of Watson’s game that makes him as breath-taking as he is, but the challenge is getting him to know when to throw the ball out of bounds and live for another down. A loss of 8-10 yards doesn’t bode well for a Texans unit that only converted 37-percent of their third downs this past season.
We all know Watson can make things happen on his own, but he has to learn when to get the ball out of his hands and throw it out of bounds.
In addition, Watson also has a great ability to make plays happen as a runner in the open field, but he also has to learn how to slide and/or get out of bounds. There’s not always a need for him to take unnecessary hits.
Granted, Watson is a spectacular player and at times will need to make the decision to cut up field and/or change direction, but the Texans will need to find a way to help him know and understand the right time to do which.
These are the type of plays that make Watson who he is, but will these plays keep him on the field and in the league long-term.