She admitted she wasn’t sure until the most recent round of signings by the Browns.
Mary Kay Cabot Was ‘Very Concerned’ About Deshaun Watson’s Success Up Until a Few Weeks Ago
On “Orange and Brown Talk,” a fan asked Cabot what she thinks the likelihood is of Watson returning to the elite form he had when he was with the Houston Texans. In three full seasons with Houston, Watson averaged nearly 4300 passing yards and over 28 touchdowns per season. His third full year with Houston saw him pass for over 4800 yards and 33 touchdowns with only seven interceptions.
Cabot said that until recently, she had been “very concerned” about the Watson deal — the Browns signed him to the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history — but not because of his talent. It was because of the weapons he had at his disposal, which means everything to a quarterback’s success.
“I feel a lot different about [Deshaun Watson] now than I did before they signed three more pass-catchers for him,” said Cabot. “Now I think he really does have a chance to be one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. I do think quarterbacks are only as good as the weapons around them, and now that they’ve added Elijah Moore, they’ve added Marquise Goodwin and they’ve added Jordan Akins, I think when you bring those guys into the fold with Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, David Njoku — now I feel like that’s a competitive catch-passing group. Before this transaction cycle, I was very concerned about it.”
Cabot Also Thinks Cleveland Should Add Another Top Receiver to the Team
Cabot went on to say that you can never have too many good wide receivers and she doesn’t think the Cleveland Browns should be done in that department this offseason.
“I still actually think that they could go ahead and add one more really, really good receiver. You can’t have too many. Look at the Kansas City philosophy — they just threw bodies at it this year and they were able to compe up with some very, very good weapons for Patrick Mahomes,” said Cabot. “So I feel a lot better about it now and I think that Deshaun has a very strong chance of being very successful this year.”
Her co-host Dan Labbe added that he loves to see the Browns “really make that investment in helping Deshaun Watson regain what he was in Houston,” but he’s wondering what the Browns are going to do in the upcoming NFL draft.
“There are some speedy guys in the draft that are really interesting and [the Browns] are going to be in a position where they can maybe get some of those guys late,” said Labbe. “I’m with you, I don’t know that they’re necessarily done adding to this wide receiver room. I think a lot of these guys, now that they’ve sort of had a year to digest what Deshaun likes and what can work and [head coach Kevin Stefanski’s] had some time to figure that out, it does feel like especially Moore and Goodwin seem to fit with what they want to do with Watson.”
Some Browns Pundits Are Worried the Deshaun Watson Move Will Be ‘A Disaster If It Fails’
On an episode of the Ultimate Cleveland Sports Show, Adam “The Bull” Gerstenhaber made the comment a few weeks ago that the Watson deal is so enormous that it will be “a disaster if it fails.”
“You’re all in on Deshaun Watson and it’s a disaster if it fails,” said Gerstenhaber. “You have to do everything you can to make him better and to supplement him on this team both ways.”
Additionally, NBC Sports analyst Mike Florio said on an episode of Pro Football Talk that the pressure is on in Cleveland to have some success with Watson — and the pressure is higher for ther people than it is for Watson.
“There are expectations internally and externally. Jimmy Haslam, the owner of the team, talked about it this week. He said [head coach] Kevin Stefanki is not on the hot seat, but they expect to make the playoffs this year. That’s a big expectation for a team that has only made it once,” said Florio, adding, “If it doesn’t work this year … there could be some changes. Somebody could be accountable because they’re never gonna blame it on Deshaun Watson. They’ve made this decision to go for Deshaun Watson and build the team around him and if the other people in place to build that team around him aren’t getting it done, they’re the ones who are going to pay for it.”
For Watson’s part, Browns analyst Tony Grossi told ESPN that Watson is working overtime to try to get back to his previous form.
“[W]hat I’ve been told is [Watson] is just so committed to getting back on his horse and being regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL,” said Grossi.
Grossi added that he thinks it was “a tad humiliating” for Watson when he returned from his 11-game suspension and didn’t look all that sharp. In six games for the Browns in 2022, Watson threw for just over 1100 yards and just seven touchdowns with five interceptions.
“I think that was not only a surprise to him how difficult it was to get back on the field and do what used to come natural to him, I think it was a tad humiliating to him the way he played. The franchise believes it was totally understandable and we’ll find out this coming year,” said Grossi.