It's Time To Unleash Deshaun Watson

It's Time To Unleash Deshaun Watson

Mac Blank
1 year ago
3 min read
Cleveland Browns' Deshaun Watson runs for touchdown during game against Saints

Trial and error is over this season as Deshaun Watson and Kevin stefanski now have a full offseason together and a full season of game plans tailored around Watson being the starting quarterback. To help change the offense, Kevin Stefanski brought on Bill Musgrave to serve as senior offensive adviser. 

Pass-Heavy Offense

This makes a lot of sense as reports are out stating the Browns want to adopt a more of a pass heavy offense and Musgrave not only worked with Stefanski before in Minnesota, but has shown he is knowledgeable in the “aid raid” offense. 

What is getting lost with this though is Stefanski coaching a player he’s had before: a mobile quarterback with a dynamic ability to make plays with his legs. 

With so much preparation to the roster, with this game plan comes expectations. It’s now or never for the Browns so why not put everything on the table. This year is the year fans and the league will see a full season of Deshaun Watson: no uncertainty over how many games he will play, no tailoring the offense to suit the backup quarterback, and most of all no excuses. The core players of this team: Watson, Chubb, Cooper, Bitonio, Garrett, and Ward are all in their primes so the time to win is now. 

Win-Now Time In Cleveland

With this in mind this in mind, Deshaun Watson should be let off the leash this year. What do dogs do when they are let off the leash? They run, and Watson is the kind of quarterback that is dangerous in the open field. 

Despite being out of the game for over a year, Watson was still dangerous pulling the ball down and running it, averaging over seven yards per scramble last year. 

The fact that Watson running it twice gets a first down is extremely significant considering the Browns were 19th in the league in third down conversion, completing a low average of 57 percent of their passes on third down. 

Watson Needs To Use His Legs

Watson scrambling more would also benefit the passing game. Last year Watson held the ball longer than any quarterback in the league at an average of 2.9 seconds. Sure it’s great to extend plays, but considering eight of the top 15 quarterbacks that held the ball the longest were also among the highest in the league in bad throw percentage; it’s safe to say it the difficulty of completion doesn’t get easier as the length of the play goes on.

Now this isn’t to say Watson should take off every single play, but establishing himself as a threat to run at any given moment will help all aspects of the offense. Teams notice trends on film and soon enough if there’s frequent evidence of this on film, defenses will allocate more players to “cover” Watson. 

This in turn leaves one less person coverage and one less person devoted to stopping Nick Chubb and the run game. We saw glimpses of this last year with read option plays, electric quarterback scrambles, and even quarterback power runs. Hopefully we see more of this next season as this will only help an offense that was struggling last year down the stretch.

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