Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Richard/AP/Shutterstock (13619978a) Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson stands on the field before an NFL preseason football game against the Chicago Bears, on Aug. 27, 2022, in Cleveland. Watson can begin practicing, as part of his agreement with the NFL on an 11-game suspension after being accused of sexual misconduct by two dozen women when he played for Houston Browns Watson Football, Cleveland, United States – 27 Aug 2022
Deshaun Watson accepted booing, but not responsibility
Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson really wants everyone to forget that 30 women accused him of sexual misconduct and assault.
After a Thursday press conference where Watson embarrassed himself, as usual, claiming he “had no control” over his NFL career (because of all his sexual assault and misconduct accusers), he made sure to do his best Patches O’Houlihan following the Browns’ 27-14 victory over the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in a game where he could not lead his offense to a touchdown.
Watson was booed heartily every play by the Texans fans in attendance, which he claimed he had no issue with:
“They’re supposed to boo. I’m a Cleveland Brown now, and we’re on the road. So, they’re supposed to do that.”
Despite the booing, Watson claimed he felt a lot of emotions being back in Houston:
“Like I said, just kind of from being traded, like I mentioned before, Houston is still part of me. It’s part of my legacy. I’ve got drafted here. We went through a lot of ups and downs with this organization. Being traded was tough, but it’s a business decision, and it had to happen. Being into that and my first game back here in Houston was tough. Walking into the stadium on the opposite side of the stadium and locker room, it was different because I know exactly how those guys get ready for games and how they do the pregame and talk and everything. There was a lot of emotion, a lot of just kind of just trying to keep everything in, knowing a lot of guys that’s on that defense and on that offense. It was tough, but at the same time, it was very exciting to be able to just get my feet wet and be able to run around and take some hits and see everything kind of happen full speed.”
Watson also relayed that this was not the first time he had ever been booed for an entire game:
“I definitely have, South Carolina in college. A couple games here in Houston, we went on the road to Tennessee. Like I said, it is what it is. I can’t control the fans, how they approach whenever I step on the field. My job is to go out there and execute and do my best on behalf of the team.”
Now that he has returned from suspension, Watson was asked if he was remorseful for his conduct. This is where he started practicing the five Ds of Dodgeball:
“Like I said before, that’s something that legal and clinical have answered before, and they don’t want me to address anything like that. Of course, it’s a tough situation. The suspension was tough. But at the same time, my main focus was just trying to be 1-0 as a football player today.”
If I were his adviser, I would not let him speak about it either because he makes a fool of himself every time he does. It is clear the Browns know not to let him go off script in any interview.
He was asked a second time, as he returned from suspension, if he was remorseful for his actions, but Deshaun was back to practicing the concept of ‘if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a question’:
“Like I said, I was just excited to be back on the field today. I did everything that I was asked and was required to do. I did all that, and I was able to be able to play and be on the field today.”
Browns public relations made it a point not to allow Houston media but maybe two questions on Deshaun before keeping it to Browns’ media and shutting down the presser early. They did not want Deshaun to take any responsibility either. He certainly should not have – at least when it came to his team’s win Sunday – which was accomplished despite him.