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Deshaun Watson Needs to Prove His Leadership Abilities

Clemson being in a nail-biter game against a cupcake team like Troy is very disappointing, and watching the Clemson offense struggle is even more disappointing. However, what is the most shocking is Deshaun Watson’s leadership when things go bad. Anybody can be a great leader when everything is in their favor.
The offensive line was not blocking the way they should have and it seemed like a Troy player was getting a hit on Watson every play. The wide receivers were dropping passes that they typically catch, and Wayne Gallman could not get the ground game going. It seemed like everything was going bad for the Clemson Tigers, and the game was just waiting for Watson to take it over.
Watson is a great player and even if he never plays another down for Clemson, he is one of the best players to ever play at the program. His resume speaks for itself he is the first player in FBS history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards. He has led Clemson to heights where they would have never been without him, but it is time to hold him accountable.
Watson had bad throws and he really struggled on Saturday, but his plays are not what need to be criticized, it is his leadership. Watson grew frustrated when his team stalled on drives which is understandable, but the quarterback has to rally the troops. The quarterback has to remain cool under pressure because his teammates are counting on him; he cannot go to the sidelines and pout or show his frustration. Watson has previously said that he wanted to become a better vocal leader and that is something that he was working on, but he also said that he is a guy that leads by example. Leading by example is great, but every great leader has to rally the troops.
Jameis Winston, the former quarterback of Florida State, had an electrifying redshirt freshman year. In 2013 he threw for 4,057 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions; he also won the Heisman and the National Championship in 2013. The next year his production declined dramatically, he threw for 3,907 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions. His offensive line was not great, and Florida State only returned seven starters on the offense that year.
Florida State played in eight close games that year and eventually lost to Oregon in the Rose Bowl. The most impressive thing about that year was how Florida State could keep fighting and find ways to win; the majority of that had to do with Winston’s leadership. He would never let his guys get down and he would always encourage his guys on the sideline letting them know that they were going to win. He is a great vocal leader and that was demonstrated at halftime against Ole Miss this year, although he was the former quarterback, Jimbo Fisher allowed him to talk to the team during halftime.
He told the team, “Florida State. Your brothers. Your team. Your heartbeat. We some dogs, we ain’t no puppies. Wide receivers, y’all cannot be stopped. The whole game. We got the best running back in the whole damn league, and we got a quarterback who’s gonna toss that thing. O-line, wake up!” His speech inspired the team to score 23 unanswered points in the third quarter, and Florida State came back to win the game 45-34.
Watson does not have to be Winston, but somebody has to be the leader in the locker room. Watson is a team captain he has to act like one not only when the game is going good, but also when things are adverse.
Who knows what this year holds for the Tigers? Clemson may not win the National Championship, and Watson may not have a good year this year. However, if Watson wants to be the number one draft pick in 2017 he must take a page out of Winston’s book.

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