Before every practice during the season, Nick Martin would warm up by launching a touchdown pass to the corner of the endzone.
To Deshaun Watson.
The two made it a daily ritual. Sometimes Watson would come down with the pass. Other times, he would not, often sparking a debate about whether the passer or the catcher was to blame.
Martin and Watson played 16 games together for the first time in 2018. Their bond strengthened over the course of the season, but it actually began before Watson ever started a game.
“We actually roomed together his rookie year at The Greenbrier,” Martin said. “I think that kind of built a foundation and then I feel like we have that center-quarterback bond. We can joke on the field but we know when to lock in and know what’s going on and what the team needs. He trusts me and I trust him and that’s that open communication that really helps on the field and off the field.”
The duo spent a lot of time together. Aside from practice, Martin and Watson met at least twice a week to go over their protections or review the run game, according to head coach Bill O’Brien. Chemistry and communication are vital to an offense, especially a young one, and it begins with the quarterback and center being on the same page every snap.
“Deshaun did a good job of understanding – the way that our protections are set up, it’s important for the process of Deshaun and Nick to first be on the same page of what we want to do with this particular protection, and this all has to happen very quickly,” O’Brien said. “Then, Deshaun and the receivers or the tight ends are on the same page with how the protection is being seen.”
Through 16 games last season, Watson became the first quarterback to throw for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns and rush for 500 yards and five touchdowns in a single season in NFL history.
Best of 2018: Celebrations
Check out the best celebration shots from the 2018 season.