Former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson made his first NFL appearance this past Wednesday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. when the Carolina Panthers hosted the Houston Texans in the preseason opener for both teams.
Although the Panthers defeated the Texans 27-17, there has been much talk about the calm composure and control Watson had while on the field. In his first NFL appearance he completed 15-of-25 passes for 179 yards, while adding three carries for 24 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown.
Here are what reporters, analysts, coaches, and other media members are saying about the rookie’s performance:
“He looked like he had been there for about five years. He was just Deshaun. He’s poised, you can tell he’s put the work in, no big shocker there. Poised, confident, knew where to go with the ball, had several dropped balls and a fumble that cost them a couple of opportunities, but just very confident, very much in command, and he just has that ability to extend plays and he’s faster than you think but he’s just a very, very smart football player and a strong arm.” – Dabo Swinney, Clemson Head Football Coach
“Watson has said he is not concerned about where he stands on the quarterback depth chart because when he gets his opportunity he “is going to take advantage of it.” – Reported by Sarah Barshop, ESPN Staff Writer
“Deshaun Watson looks like he was born to do this. #Texans” – Tweeted by Brian T. Smith from the Houston Chronicle
“It’s going to be fun to see what Deshaun Watson does. I’m a big fan of his, obviously a fan of Clemson and what they’ve done the last two years,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “If I had a chance and a Heisman vote, I’d have given it to him.” – Reported by Cindy Boren from The Washington Post
“At times, Watson looked like a veteran quarterback out there, especially when the Panthers threw blitzes at him. This happened several times throughout the game and the rookie handled those situations well.” – Reported by Steven Ruiz from For The Win
“No, he’s not the starter yet, but he looks like he’ll be ready when the time comes.” — Danny Heifetz from theringer.com
“About Watson,” Houston coach Bill O’Brien said, “He comes in every day prepared, good questions, watches the tape right after practice. Seems to get better every day, get better at something every day. Got a good attitude, a good demeanor. He’s doing a really good job.” – Reported by John McClain from the Houston Chronicle
“Utilizing his dual-threat capability, the 12th-overall pick was too much for Carolina’s second-team defense and showed flashes of the dominance he displayed at Clemson. With all eyes on him, he stepped up and displayed veteran poise both in and out of the pocket as he picked apart the Panthers (second-string) secondary.” – Reported by Charles Cotton from New York Post
“He probably hasn’t won the starting job yet, but Watson certainly put some heat on Tom Savage Wednesday night.”—Reported by John Benne from sbnation.com
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