I agree with Deshaun Watson, he is not a dual-threat quarterback. He is just a quarterback that happens to have the ability to run the football, too.
Well, isn’t that the definition of a dual-threat quarterback? I’m sure you are asking me that right now.
The answer is yes and no. There isn’t anyone like Deshaun Watson out there. In his case he is such a unique talent that he needs his own term.
Yes, Watson ran for 1,105 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. Yes, in five of his final seven games he rushed for more than 100 yards. Deshaun Watson can run the football as well as anyone in college football. No one is denying that point.
But because he can run the football doesn’t mean Watson is a dual-threat quarterback. He just runs what the coaches ask him to do.
Watson is a passer first and if you don’t believe me, ask Alabama head coach Nick Saban. Alabama’s game-plan in the national championship game was to do all it could to keep Watson in the pocket and make him throw the ball downfield.
Guess what he did? He threw the ball downfield and did it way better than anyone else against Alabama’s nationally ranked defense.
“He could get the ball into spaces about like this,” Saban said to ESPN, while holding his hands about a foot apart.
Watson completed 30 of 47 passes for a national championship game record 405 yards and four touchdowns against Alabama. Go back and watch his four touchdown passes, especially the two to Hunter Renfrow. Alabama had the coverage, but Watson, like he did the entire game, made the throws.
What’s the first memory you have of Deshaun Watson in a Clemson uniform? Is it one where he took a snap and ran 34 yards for a touchdown or was it a 30-yard laser thrown down the middle of the seam, over a linebackers head and away from the safety, where only his wide receiver could catch the football for a touchdown?
I think we all remember what it was.
During that broadcast, ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Todd Blackledge described it as a play that just three quarterbacks playing on Sunday’s can make.
Yes, Watson’s ability to run the football gives him the ability to something most quarterbacks cannot do, and it puts extra pressure on the defense. But that doesn’t define the kind of quarterback he is.
Watson will run the football if he is told to and if he has to, but that doesn’t mean that’s what he wants to do.
Unlike most traditional “dual-threat” quarterbacks, Watson’s first inclination is to throw the football, not run it. When a play breaks down, he does not automatically tuck the football under his arm and run. Instead, he keeps his head up and he is looking to see if any of his receivers are coming open downfield.
He isn’t a running quarterback. No, he is a quarterback who extends plays with his legs.
What some people fail to understand about Watson, when describing him, is that he threw for 4,104 yards and 35 touchdowns last year, while completing 68 percent of his passes. They usually start talking about his ability to run the football and then eventually get his ability as a passer.
But Watson is a way better passer than he is a runner. Saban confirmed that and I think that is the way Watson ultimately wants to be described as “a quarterback first and a runner last.”
I can understand where Watson was coming from in his interview with the Bleacher Report. He just wants to be viewed as a good quarterback, who happens to be a good runner, too, and it has nothing to do with the color of his skin that he can do both.