Browns' Deshaun Watson Fires Back at Critics in Blunt Statement

Evaluating Deshaun Watson's performance amid high expectations.

by Faizan Chaudhary
Browns' Deshaun Watson Fires Back at Critics in Blunt Statement
© Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is setting aside all external pressures as he gears up for a pivotal season. In his third year with the Browns following a 2022 high-profile trade, Watson is emerging from a season-ending shoulder surgery, having played only 12 games since joining the team.

As Cleveland looks towards a full season with him at the helm, Watson remains unfazed by speculation over whether he will return to his Pro Bowl form seen during his tenure with the Houston Texans. Watson, in a candid episode of his "QB Unplugged" podcast, expressed a fierce independence from public opinion.

"I don’t live for other people’s expectations. I could care less about what anybody else has to say. None of that really matters to me," Watson declared. He emphasized his personal aspirations over public sentiment, stating, "I got my own expectations and my expectation is to be a world champion one day.

That’s what I want to do."

Watson's Costly Gamble

The quarterback's tenure with the Browns has been under scrutiny, especially considering the hefty price Cleveland paid for his services. The team forfeited three first-round picks and handed Watson a $230 million guaranteed contract.

Over twelve games, he has thrown for 2,217 yards with 14 touchdowns against nine interceptions—a return that many feel hasn't yet justified the Browns' investment. Despite this, Watson feels confident about his role and the support within the team structure.

"People are going to have their own opinions, but it's not even about football for most anymore—it's about personal biases. The people in the building, those I compete with, they know my capabilities," Watson added, asserting his commitment to the game and his determination to prove his critics wrong.

Adding to the narrative, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski expressed his confidence in Watson's continual improvement during a recent appearance on the Rich Eisen Show. "We want the best version of Deshaun," Stefanski remarked.

He highlighted the culture of growth within the team, emphasizing that even top performers like Defensive Player of the Year Myles Garrett are expected to enhance their skills continually. As the season approaches, Watson has been participating in Organized Team Activities on a limited basis but is expected to ramp up his involvement during training camp.

With plans to start in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys, both Watson and the Browns are focused on transcending past performances and silencing critics with a standout season.

Browns Deshaun Watson