The Detroit Lions are looking forward to getting in some valuable practice on the road this week against Houston Texas dual-threat quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Especially since the Lions open the regular season on the road against Arizona Cardinals dual-threat quarterback Kyler Murray.
And that’s not to mention all the other dual-threat quarterbacks the Lions will face, like Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Dallas’ Dak Prescott.
[ Matthew Stafford looks sharp, throws TDs in return to practice ]
Facing Watson this week will be a big change from going against New England’s Tom Brady, perhaps the ultimate pocket passer.
“Obviously, you saw a set of competition last week and those players are unique to who they are,” coach Matt Patricia said Tuesday. “We’ll get an entirely different set of players this week to compete against. So, if you look at it from a standpoint of competing against ourselves, competing against the Patriots, competing against Houston, you really get three good sets of evaluation with different types of players. …
“What’s the quarterback position look like? That’s going to be completely different for us than what we saw last week. It’s a great repetition for us to just get practice at that because that’s what it is during the season. It changes week-by-week and we certainly have to have that mentality to flip the switch one week to the next and know that the games are different. That’s how we have to prepare.”
In Watson, the Lions will face one of the NFL’s most dangerous running signal callers. Last year, Watson rushed for 551 yards and five touchdowns. Only Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson and Buffalo’s Josh Allen rushed for more yards among quarterbacks.
“I think we always want to put our players in a position to where they’re going to be successful,” Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly told the Houston Chronicle recently. “Fortunately for us, Deshaun is a great player and he can do a lot of really good things in a wide variety of skillsets. As far as that’s concerned, tailoring things to him, he can do it all. We’ve just got to make sure we put him in a position to be successful.”
But Watson was way more than just a mobile quarterback last season. He passed for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns and led the Texans to the AFC South title with an 11-5 record. He was named a Pro Bowl alternate and coach Bill O’Brien and his staff are trying to tailor the offense to take advantage of Watson’s multidimensional arsenal.
And Patricia — the old defensive coordinator — can’t wait to see what Watson and the Texans have in store this week.
“The part I’m really obviously intrigued for — knowing Coach O’Brien and everything he does — is just the difference with the quarterback,” he said. “I think it just makes a whole difference of how you have to do everything defensively, whether it’s the pass rush, the run game, just basic defensive fundamental and assignments.
“They obviously have skill players that are a problem, too. That’s the part of it to me that really changes, and I would say the quarterback position is really key every week. So this will be another really good challenge from that standpoint.”
Contact Carlos Monarrez at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.
Published at Tue, 13 Aug 2019 21:35:00 +0000