When a player goes from high school to college, he has to adjust to the speed of the game. When he eventually makes the move to the NFL, the speed of the game intensifies even more.
That’s what former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is adjusting to as he battles for the Houston Texans’ starting quarterback spot in training camp.
“Things are moving,” Watson said in article by ESPN.com after he spoke to the media on Friday.
The two-time Heisman Trophy Finalist described how fast the offense and defense was coming off the ball when they were practicing down near the goal line to start practice.
“You really have to be mentally sharp and fundamentally sharp down there,” Watson said.
Watson said he can already see how much faster the game is at the pro level compared to what he saw when he was leading the Tigers to the national championship last season.
“Guys are knowing what to do. They’re operating and communicating better, so they’re being able to react quicker,” he said.
That’s why Watson says he has to get better. He isn’t looking to get dramatically better every day. Instead, he just wants to do a little bit at a time and let the game come to him, much the way he did when he was at Clemson.
Watson said there were a lot of things he did at Clemson that can help him get better in the NFL. At Clemson he was forced to call his own protections and communicate with the offensive line as well as given the freedom to check in and out of plays.
Those are all things that helped him get ready for what he is now seeing at Houston. Now, he just has to get used to the speed of the game.
“That’s my processing information, making a good decision, ball handling, throwing, being more accurate. Just find a way to get better each and every day,” he said.
Watson is trying not to get too overwhelmed by all the information that is coming his way so he is just trying to take things one step at a time in training camp. He said fellow Texans’ quarterbacks Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden have been very helpful as he continues to learn and adjust.
“It’s good, not just for me but for those guys, too,” he said. “We’re all pretty much growing to be best friends and we’re always hanging with each other. On the practice field, we’re rooting for each other. We’re always communicating and finding ways — even outside of football — we’re always hanging out, talking about golf, cars, watches, different things outside of football. It’s a great environment.”
And it is an environment that is just going to take some getting used to, no matter how fast things are happening around Watson.
–Photo Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY
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