Deshaun Watson feels a major difference before Year 2 in Cleveland

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

As a surprise to absolutely no one, Deshaun Watson feels more confident entering his second season leading the Cleveland Browns franchise.

Although he did make his team debut in the latter part of last season, Deshaun Watson feels a lot better about his future when it comes to quarterbacking the Cleveland Browns.

After two years mired by scandal of the self-inflicted variety, Watson seems unencumbered entering his season offseason in Cleveland. People may not be ready to forgive him, or ever will for that matter, but the Browns traded for the former Houston Texans starting quarterback to be the reason they can consistently make the playoffs. He has talent, but carries immense baggage.

Here is what Watson told the beat reporters when at the podium on Tuesday with the Browns.

"“Honestly, it’s night and day. Last year, it was just a whirlwind, but it was a good learning lesson for myself and for me to be able to grow. Coming in this year, I’m ahead of the game from where I was previously.”"

No one is rooting for him, but people are still hoping to see a winner emerge out of Cleveland.

Deshaun Watson feeling exponentially more confident heading into year two

If all goes according to plan, Cleveland can definitely contend for one of seven playoff spots in the AFC, no matter how deep the conference is currently top to bottom. While I don’t anticipate Cleveland catching arch rival Cincinnati at the top of the division, Baltimore and Pittsburgh are not as strong as they once were. Should Watson play up to his Houston/Clemson standard, then okay!

Regardless, it is imperative that he plays well because otherwise, it will get ugly in Northeast Ohio. Trading for such a divisive player rubbed many people the wrong way. Giving up a gross premium to get him was as bold as it was controversial. Not to say it will be a cure-all for everything that is slimy about Watson, but winning is fantastic deodorant. Simply, the Browns traded for him to win.

The idea behind dealing for Watson in the first place was that he would be a better, and potentially a more stable, signal-caller over the limited Baker Mayfield. It was a shame that things didn’t work out for Mayfield in Cleveland, but he had two good seasons out of the four. He did quarterback the Browns to their first playoff victory in his lifetime by beating the Steelers on the road, nonetheless.

No doubt about it, there is insurmountable pressure put on Watson’s plate. Even the most stoic and levelheaded men would crack under these circumstances. It still may not work out for him, especially with all neutral parties rooting against him. But you have to remember that he was a transcendent player in Houston, in college and in his native Gainesville, Georgia during high school.

It has been a minute since he played like himself, but this does not feel like a Russell Wilson fiasco.

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