Four takeaways from Deshaun Watson’s press conference
On my radio show on SportsRadio 610 Thursday morning, I asked Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio what he thought of the absurd idea that the NFL might step in and, due to the constant stream of lawsuits court cases hitting Deshaun Watson, somehow reversing or nullifying the trade that was consummated between the Texans and the Cleveland Browns in March.
I felt silly even asking the question, but silly people are afraid (or in Cleveland’s case, HOPE) of silly things. Here is his response:
So sorry Cleveland. Deshaun Watson, and everything that comes with him, everything you pay $230 million for, that’s your problem now. So now you have to prepare every day that a new accuser may come out of the woodwork of society. With that as a backdrop, on the heels of two other lawsuits and with promises of more from Tony Buzbee, Watson met the media for the first time since his introductory presser in Cleveland in March.
Here’s the full video, with my thoughts below:
OK, I think Watson did better this time around than he did on March 25, although admittedly it would have been hard to do worse. Here are four takeaways from this latest press conference:
Deshaun Watson claims his innocence
On several occasions, Watson said his goal was always “to clear his name”:
“As I said, I just want to clear my name and be able to let the facts and legal proceedings continue to unfold. Right now that’s all I do is want to clear my name and be able to let all the facts come out in court and be able to focus on that.
So there will be no settlements, at least not anytime soon. So buckle up, Cleveland!
He did his best to backtrack on his ‘no regrets’ comments that sparked so many in March
Here’s Watson’s answer to March’s question about whether or not he had any regrets (fast forward to 36:37):
“I think that question kind of triggered a lot of people, not just women in general, but a lot of people in the league, from women to men and things like that. What I was saying is yes, I have never assaulted, disrespected or harassed anyone. At the same time, I understand that I have regrets about the impact this has had on the community and people outside of me, and that includes my family, that includes this organization, that includes my teammates in that locker room . who have to answer these questions, that includes the Cleveland Browns fanbase and that includes men, women, and everyone around the world. That’s one thing I regret is the impact it’s had on so many people, and it’s hard to deal with.
If he thinks he did nothing wrong, it’s hard to apologize for what people claim you did wrong, but it was, I guess, an attempt at C + to mitigate damage.
Obviously he’s going to some form of counseling now
In March, Watson was specifically asked if he would start counseling following his alleged behavior described in the lawsuits. At the time, he shrugged his shoulders, said “No” because he “has no problem”. I guess if you’re pretending you’ve done nothing wrong, that’s a logical answer, but it looks like Watson is now seeking therapy in some form. This was his response to how he handles things emotionally these days:
“I think it’s been a long year and a half, I can say that. Personally, it’s been tough. Since coming here and becoming a Cleveland Brown, I’ve been able to use all the resources that I have. this organization and I was able to start using guidance and talking with someone just to make sure my mind is straight so I can be prepared to walk this ground and be as sharp as possible. do it and be the best person and grow as an individual, grow as a human being and be able to be the best citizen and the best person that I can be outside of this realm and also when I come in this building being the best teammate and player I can be.
He hasn’t been asked to explain this, but it seems that the advice he receives is more in the realm of “sport psychology”, as opposed to the realm of “deviant behavior”. Perhaps Watson is concerned about handling the crowd’s reactions to his return to the field, where he’ll be decidedly seen as a villain wherever he goes.
The citizens of Cleveland buy him popcorn at the cinema!
When asked how he was acclimating to Cleveland, he gave an interesting anecdote near the end of the press conference:
“Just being able to focus on myself a bit and figure out how I can be the best human being I can be, the best teammate I can be, the best son I can be, and the best friend I can be. can be, and just focus on that. Just have a smile on my face, walk with my head held high because I know who I really am and I’m the best citizen I can be in this community. ‘ve said it was great to be able to go out into the community and go to a restaurant. It was a case where I went to the movies with my girlfriend and it was a family group – it was probably 30 – and they bought us popcorn and invited us to a movie so I thought that was pretty awesome to be able to hang out and people really know who I really am My goal is really to focus on Deshaun Watson and to be the best person I can be.
A lot of times I fight with how the rest of humanity feels about me, and then this kind soul buys me a bucket of buttered popcorn, and I’m like, “People really like me!” Now Deshaun knows how it feels!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.