Browns’ Deshaun Watson Puts New Steelers QB Russell Wilson on Notice

Deshaun Watson Russell Wilson

Getty Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson issued a warning to new Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were welcoming for new quarterback Russell Wilson during his first week with the team. Rival quarterback Deshaun Watson was too, but his welcome for Wilson also came with an interesting warning.

“Welcome to the AFC North, where things can get real spooky,” said Watson on his most recent episode of his “QB Unplugged” show.

Wilson is joining a division that includes Watson, incumbent MVP Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow as the other quarterbacks.

But Defensive Player of the Year Myles Garrett, the NFL’s 2023 sack leader T.J. Watt and 3-time Pro Bowler Trey Hendrickson also reside in the AFC North. Those three players combined for more than 50 sacks last season.

Furthermore, the Cleveland Browns finished with the top total defense in 2023. The Baltimore Ravens allowed the fewest points.

QB Deshaun Watson Has ‘Strange’ AFC North Welcome for Steelers’ Russell Wilson

Watson’s welcome to the AFC North for Wilson didn’t say anything negative about the new Steelers quarterback. But the wording was a bit odd.

USA Today’s Steelers Wire’s Allison Koehler referred to the warning as “strange.”

Maybe Watson’s latest trip to Acrisure Stadium simply left him spooked.

Watson went 5-1 as Cleveland’s starter last season, but the lone loss was a 26-22 defeat in Pittsburgh. Watson threw a pick-six, sustained 6 sacks, and lost 2 fumbles in the defeat. The Browns quarterback also committed a pair of personal foul penalties.

In Watson’s other trip to Pittsburgh with the Browns, the Steelers won 28-14. Watson had a pair of interceptions and took 6 sacks in that contest.

Including his time with the Houston Texans, Watson is 0-3 in his career against the Steelers. Pittsburgh sacked Watson 18 times in those three games.

All three contests took place at Acrisure Stadium.

Watson Shares Respect for Steelers

Watson’s initial welcome for Wilson may have been a bit odd, but as he continued, he gave props to the Steelers franchise.

In conclusion, Watson was not at all surprised Wilson wanted to join the black and gold.

“Pittsburgh is a good organization. It’s crazy for me to say it because I’m a Brown. I’m just keeping it 100,” Watson said on his podcast. “At the end of the day, you have to give respect where respect is due. Tomlin is going to have them boys right. It made sense for [Wilson] to go there. They are going to compete.”

The Steelers haven’t suffered a losing season since 2003. Over the past 20 years, the Steelers have posted a 32-7-1 regular season record against the Browns.

However, the rivalry may be shifting to a more equal footing. The Browns have won four of the past five meetings against the Steelers in Cleveland.

Dating back to 2018, the Steelers have won just once in Cleveland.

The Browns also won the team’s playoff matchup at Acrisure Stadium in January 2021.

During 2023, the Steelers and Browns both made the playoffs, but Cleveland finished ahead of Pittsburgh in the final standings for the first time since 1989.

It will be interesting to see what the Steelers-Browns rivalry brings next with Wilson and Watson set to square off.

Wilson defeated Watson in a back-and-forth matchup during the only previous matchup between the quarterbacks. That took place during Watson’s rookie season in 2017.

Read More