Deshaun Watson on first NFL game: It’s still football


Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson played in his first NFL game on Wednesday night, but it wasn’t his first time in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Watson played in the 2015 ACC Championship Game in the stadium and led Clemson to a 45-37 win by throwing for three touchdowns and running for two others. Watson didn’t have the same kind of success against the Panthers, but he didn’t seem overwhelmed by the step up to facing what he said were bigger, faster and smarter guys than he faced in college.

Watson said “it’s still football” when discussing his performance, which included a 15-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

“I was just extending the play,” Watson said. “That’s what coach [Bill O’Brien] always tell me. If nothing’s there, do what I do. Don’t change and try to force anything: extend the play. I saw a hole and tried to get in the end zone and I did.”

It was the kind of playmaking ability that served Watson well during his time at Clemson and what the Texans hoped to get when they traded up for Watson in the first round. More of the same in the next couple of weeks will lead to confidence Watson can handle starting duties in the NFL and, perhaps, a push for him to make that move sooner rather than later.

40 responses to “Deshaun Watson on first NFL game: It’s still football

  1. From a fans standpoint with know skin in the game I thought he played and showed a lot of the attributes that made him special in college. He a smart kid with talent and a future unlike a lot of NFL scouts.

  2. Watson looked incredible. Houston may finally have found an elite QB. Texans fans must be pumped because he looks talented and plays very smart.

  3. It’s always hard to judge in preseason, because you have 2nds vs 2nds etc. but I thought he looked pretty good. HIs extending plays seemed to come after checking reads, not like some athletic reads that break away when their first target isn’t open. He definitely wasn’t playing street ball. I wish the kid good luck in the NFL.

  4. He looked more like the starting QB than the back up. Texans should give him a chance versus the “ones” because he handled the “twos” and “threes” like a starter last night.

  5. The best QB in college, last year will show he is the best rookie QB in the NFL. Any rational fan, with eyesight & half a brain, knows this already. Pundits who didn’t see him as the best, will eat their words,as will teams that took projects over a ready-to-play QB.

  6. I watched his highlights. Lots of bootlegs and him leaving a clean pocket or escaping a collapsing pocket after 5 seconds. Those plays work great but can’t be the base of the offense. Ball has to be out in 3 seconds.

    The line is gonna get exhausted if that’s the base O. Improv is supposed to be rare (like Rodgers), not the base (like manziel or RG3). Thats how injuries happen.

  7. It’s a good thing we got out to a lead. The game became a road game for the Panthers once Watson came in and all the Clempson people went nuts…..

  8. Great playmaker in college absolutely, a decent start in his first preseason game absolutely, will he be a really good NFL QB? Maybe. But like every year lets pump the brakes it is a preseason game.

  9. He’s the future of the franchise, no question. It’s only a matter of when, not if. Good for Houston. This kid is gonna be a star if he can stay healthy and have a decent O-line.

  10. As a Texans fan, I was really impressed with him. I have never thought much of Tom Savage, and last night was no different. Let’s let Watson take over the starting QB job from day 1.

  11. Looked like an NFL QB and wish him nothing but success in the NFL. He seems like the kind of kid who’s gonna remember each of the teams who snubbed him in the draft. There was on play near the end of the second half where he told the running back to get in the proper spot to pass protect. Very calmly and it was the right move. Impressive

  12. Looks good so far. It’s up to him to keep improving and not just taking off when pressure comes in. The league is littered with QBs who enjoyed initial scrambling success but then were figured out by very fast defensive players and smart defensive coordinators.

  13. They don’t fix that O line this could be David Carr 2.0. At the very least let Savage start long enough to get that accomplished. If he does well, then stay with him.

  14. From what I saw, the kid has promise. He made plays and he looked comfortable doing it (no deer in the headlights look). He did seem to bail early on some plays but he was controlled and still focused. His scrambles were more like Russell Wilson than the bail & go tendencies of RG3 or the erratic scrambles of a Johnny Manziel. I didn’t see a whole lot as far as accuracy or arm strength but we will see that in the next few games. If he can grasp the bulk of the offense I believe he would be better than Savage who wouldn’t be that bad of a backup QB to Watson. Houston’s defense can mask rookie mistakes throughout the season and still be right in the mix for a division crown.

  15. He looked poised and confident, but he did only manage 10 points in 2 quarters against 2nd through 4th team defenses. Let’s hold off on the anointment oil.

  16. And as a side note, Savage looked pretty good too. I hope one of these guys works out for the Texans. I really do! But it’s so hard to trust any QB playing in Houston. Fingers crossed.

  17. He did ok. Hard to judge in full due to a pre season game and against other players that will not even make the teams. Time will have to tell on this one.

  18. An impressive display of talent against the 2’s and 3’s. If he can make that happen playing against the nfl’s finest after his offensive line has fought for 3 quarters… then he will get a chance to play a few more games. Running QB’s don’t have a good history of staying healthy in the NFL. Those that stay in the pocket and get the ball off in 3 seconds thrive the best and the longest. Brady, Manning and Rodgers don’t go running around giving defenses a chance to knock them out of games very often… for a reason. You can win games from the bench.

  19. Watson looked great… after Trubisky who was the 1st/best QB available, wish my Chiefs had drafted Watson instead of the overhype Mahomes.

  20. Did he look good? Yeah but it’s the first preseason game, so lets pump the brakes. Just saying Blake Bortles looked good in the preseason during his rookie season

  21. craigruby20 says:
    August 10, 2017 at 8:59 am

    He slipped in the draft because he doesn’t have outstanding “arm talent.” So did Tom Brady. He’s Tom Brady with legs.
    Tom Brady – 6th round
    DeShawn Watson – 1st round

    Not quite the comparison you were looking for.

    Watson played well, its preseason, he’s a rookie, he’ll have his ups and downs, but good first showing. Houston’s defense was great last year and should be again. THAT’S the comparison to a young Tom Brady you could make, both had stout, already in place defenses in place.

  22. captainwhodat says:
    August 10, 2017 at 8:33 am
    yes, it’s preseason, but I really believe Watson to emerge as the premier QB in the 2017 draft…

    Yeah, just like RGIII was in his first season.

  23. Mixed bag overall. Throwing mechanics and accuracy were all over the place. Also a lot of questionable decisions like throwing back across his body and throwing late over the middle. But you can’t discount his poise and leadership. Even when he was running for his life he never looked rattled. He needs to develop as does every rookie QB in this class.

  24. He had some moments but his touch and accuracy were all over the place. Not unheard of in your first experience at the NFL level, but his performance was nothing special. Plenty to work on.

  25. I watched the game to see Carolina (wasn’t even paying attention to Houston) and Watson really stood out. He has starter written all over him.

  26. With Watson and Foreman,the Texans got 2 steals. They both can play. The defense just needs to perform like last year,the talent they have on offense now is outstanding. This is going to be a hard team to beat if the just move the ball on offense.

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