Deshaun Watson vs. Josh McCown: Helicopter Breakdown

At the end of the National Championship, Deshaun Watson rolled right, threw the same pass from earlier in the game and saved Clemson from another loss to Alabama. Props to him and his teammates for making it happen. Once you get past all of the ball and butt grabbing from Clemson, the defense is just plain good. Now that everything is over and Watson is headed into the draft I’ve seen a lot of memes about him crying and knowing the Browns will take him. No harm, no foul, because it’s not like the Browns can argue that their first round QBs have done well.

All of that aside, Deshaun Watson would make a great Browns quarterback, but not for the reasons everyone wants to look at. Sure he’s got great arm strength, but we’ve already seen that from Cody Kessler. Yes, he’s got speed to get away from the defense, but Johnny Manziel proved that’s not enough to get by. No. Deshaun Watson studied the master and perfected his flying helicopter. Let’s break down the great Josh McCown’s helicopter moves compared to Deshaun.


The Preparation. This was the opening drive for Josh McCown in 2015. He held the hopes of all Browns fans in his hands and he was not going to be denied. First down? Not good enough, let’s score. For Watson, it was 3rd and 15. All receivers were covered, so he did the smart thing and ran it. About four yards from the first down he realized he wasn’t going to make it and attempted to (it looks like) dive for the extra yards. For McCown, the Jets wouldn’t have it and for Watson, Alabama wouldn’t have it. Both failed, but one failed less. Let’s look at the side by side.

Here are both as they prepare to do the unthinkable. McCown a touchdown, Watson a big conversion on 3rd and 15 with his team down 14-17 in the 3rd quarter.

Notice the similarities in feet planting.

The plant feet are similar and both are prepped to spring toward their goals. Possibly a metaphor for their careers? Not unless helicopters directly correlate to success.

The Beginning. This is where things start to diverge a bit. Watson is upright, while McCown is hunkered down, prepared to torpedo his way into the endzone.

Watson, attempting to go up and over, McCown, attempting to go up and through.

Liftoff. As the players begin their flight into glory, they are hit by defenders, beginning a rotation that would make astronauts queasy.

At this point all they can do is hope things go well. No amount of abs workout can prepare you for this.

Rotation. Watson, choosing a more upright approach incorporates a dual-axis spin (a technique rarely used by helicopters) while McCown goes the traditional route. As McCown begins to spin, he loses the ball, a big negative in scouting sheets.

Watson rotates on the z-axis AND y-axis, while McCown only rotates on the y-axis.

The Landing. Both players eventually returned to earth and in doing so, cementing themselves in legend; Watson with the ball and McCown without. Both drives finished poorly, but there was one clear winner.

Cat-like grace with a degree in MCL tears, or dead. Pick your poison


Given the evidence laid out above, I am led to believe that Deshaun Watson could be an amazing quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. His helicopter technique is new and refreshing, and his ball control whilst helicoptering is impeccable. His tenacity for not being injured on the play is also something I can appreciate. I look forward to seeing him perfect his techniques in Cleveland in 2017.

Both GIFs for science:

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