The AFC is now loaded with great quarterbacks. When most compile the list (Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, Rodgers, Herbert, Lamar, Tua, Lawrence), one name is omitted.
Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, who didn’t play at all in 2021 and who missed 11 games in 2022 due to a suspension for violating the Personal Conduct Policy, has slipped far down the generally-accepted consensus of great AFC quarterbacks.
In his recent surprise appearance on a Twitter Spaces session, Watson addressed the fact that he’s currently not regarded the way he once was.
“You can’t define my career off of six games,” Watson said, referring to the games he played at the end of the 2022 season. “That’s how it be when kind of things don’t go your way and you know people have their own opinions. But like I said, I’m gonna keep a smile on my face. I’m gonna keep showing love, and none of that stuff is gonna break me, man. I am who I am and people know who I am.”
Watson was indeed a great quarterback, when he was regularly playing. In 2020, his most recent full season, the Texans didn’t win many games (due to a dearth of talent), but Watson was spectacular.
This year, with Watson having the full year to prepare and to play and with the Browns still possessing a talented roster on both sides of the ball, things could get interesting in Cleveland.
“Who knew Philly was gonna go to the Super Bowl and do what they did?” Watson said. “Nobody did. I felt like we did when we practiced against them, because they were legit. . . . So we knew they were gonna have a lot of success. But the outside world, they wasn’t talking about Philly. And it’s gonna be another team this year.”
The host of the Twitter Spaces then said this: “It’s gonna be the Browns this year, you’re right.”
“Yeah, exactly,” Watson said.
If that happens, Watson will definitely reclaim his spot on the short list of true franchise quarterbacks.