Kurt Warner: Deshaun Watson Faces More Pressure Without DeAndre Hopkins

(SportsRadio 610) -- With DeAndre Hopkins out of the picture, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in his fourth season will have to do things he's never done in his career.

Watson will be operating without Hopkins, a coverage dictator who wins most one-on-one matchups. Instead, he'll spread the ball around to speedsters Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller, Randall Cobb and presumably Kenny Stills. 

Hall of Fame quarterback and Super Bowl champion Kurt Warner joined Clint Stoerner on Monday and had this to say about Watson's development:

"Anytime you lose a DeAndre Hopkins, I don't know if you're going to be in a better place than you were the year before. He was a guy that could always help Deshaun out, a guy that Deshaun felt extremely comfortable with in certain situations where, I don't want to say he forced the ball to him, but he just had extreme confidence where he could wade on a guy like DeAndre to get open and to make some moves and they just had tremendous trust in each other. 

"That's what I want to see moving forward. Can he develop that with someone else? Can they find another guy? I often say for young guys, the greatest asset is having that one guy, we call them dogs now, that one dog you can put on the back side of any concept, or any three-by-one concept, you get that one guy on the back side that you know if I ever get one-on-one, my guy is going to beat the other guy. And when that happens, I can make the game really simple. I can just look at DeAndre and throw it to him every time and use my throwing ability. Kyler Murray is going to benefit from that greatly in Arizona because they didn't have that guy. 

"And that's what I wonder now about the Texans, is do they have a guy that can do that. Do they have a guy that can make the game easier on Deshaun? If not, then he's going to have to play the game even better than he's been playing it. I think he's going to have to play better within timing and rhythm than he has in the past. That's going to be interesting to see, to see where Deshaun is. See if he can make that kind of growth and then how that translates to success for their football team because even though they haven't necessarily been a great team over the years, they've been very successful in terms of winning that division and getting to the playoffs.

"But without a DeAndre Hopkins, I think that puts a lot of pressure on Deshaun to have to do even more. And what does that look like? That's always the worry to me, is when you put a young quarterback and say OK we're going to put more pressure on you. Does that mean he's going to try to do more in terms of making those special plays? I want to see him do more in terms of making the routine plays, because I think that's what's going to save this team, not the special. He's going to make the special when he has to.

"But if you try to live in that world, I don't know if they've got enough talent to be able to overcome that if he's got games where he can't make all those special plays. So I just want to see him get better on rhythm, and hopefully they can put the pieces around him to help him do that."

Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner joined the show today & explained how he was able to have so much success immediately in St Louis. This is exactly what the Houston Texans have to find offensively in 2020. ---- #QBMind@kurt13warner @Quincy_Avery @SportsRadio610 @RonnieHSHOW pic.twitter.com/36tcDWuosb

— Clint Stoerner (@ClintStoerner) May 19, 2020

Kurt Warner joined the show yesterday & said he appreciates the crazy arm talent the young guys have in today’s NFL, but what he says the position is always going to be about is spot on folks! #QBMindYoung QBs, LISTEN, RETAIN & work tirelessly to APPLY. #SimpleThings pic.twitter.com/NJxeoqYhwq

— Clint Stoerner (@ClintStoerner) May 19, 2020

Listen to Warner's entire interview with Clint and Ron 'The Show' Hughley here: