NFL

Deshaun Watson’s Quarterback Coach Breaks Down His Strengths and Weaknesses

Deshaun Watson is the star quarterback of the Texans. Houston fans have long hoped for a Super Bowl. Those expectations only make Watson work harder. His quarterback coach, Quincy Avery, not only wants the 25-year-old to be a franchise QB but also one of the greatest ever. The two have worked together for years. With hard work and Watson’s natural talent, he’ll be a force within the league for years to come.

Deshaun Watson’s NFL career so far

Quarterback Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans
Quarterback Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans | Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

While at Clemson, Watson had a stellar career completing 814 passes for 10,168 yards. He was a top prospect in the 2017 NFL draft, picked 12th overall by the Houston Texans. Watson’s rookie season was off to a great start; his games included passing for five touchdowns, passing for over 400 yards, and becoming Offensive Player and Rookie of the Month. But his stellar rookie season ended when he tore his ACL during a practice session. 

With Watson’s star on the rise fans of the Texans started dreaming of playoff berths. Those dreams were consistently dashed as Houston lost time and again in the playoffs. Fans quickly blamed head coach Bill O’Brien, citing O’Brien’s inability to surround their star quarterback with high-quality teammates.

After losing their first four games of the 2020 season, O’Brien was fired as head coach and general manager. But no matter who ends up coaching the Texans, Watson plans on staying. He signed a four year, $177.5 million contract extension this past September.

Watson’s QB coach, Quincy Avery

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Quincy Avery is an elite private quarterback coach who’s mentored some of the finest Black quarterbacks in college and the NFL. He told GQ Sports via YouTube, “I’m responsible for making the best quarterbacks in the world a little bit better.” Working with Watson since high school, the pair have a tremendous bond. They consider each other as family and not just a typical coach/player relationship.

But providing tips isn’t the only item on Avery’s agenda. With the recent racial awakenings across the country, Avery wants his quarterbacks to understand that they have a voice and a platform regarding racial inequality. He sees himself as a mentor and a big brother figure and hopes he can help them in both their careers and their lives.

Deshaun Watson’s training regimen

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Avery likes to focus on three things with his QBs: the mental and physical sides as well as their confidence. His favorite mental workout is chess. Avery claims the game helps QBs mentally focus and plan attacks. They must understand where they’re threatened and how to react — just like football. Once his QBs are comfortable with the chessboard, they liken it to the football field and learn how each move builds on the prior one.

As for the physical side and confidence builders, Avery relies on various drills after analyzing QB play. He tries his best to add stressors similar to game-time play to prepare his QBs for every situation. Avery works with Watson on his footwork while in the pocket, shuffling around or doing the pop movement to kick back and throw. All of these drills are designed for balance, footwork, and speed.

Watson and Avery have developed a great balance to grow Watson’s game and address his strengths and weaknesses. This unique training approach has definitely helped make him one of the top quarterbacks in the league.