The fact that Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson remained on the board through 11 picks could get employees from anywhere from one to 11 teams fired, sooner or later. Given that the Browns passed on Watson twice, they’ll be facing even more scrutiny for the failure to select the quarterback they’ll face on Sunday.
Understandably, coach Hue Jackson has no interest in saying anything about a decision that ultimately could get Jackson and others a one-way ticket to anywhere else.
“I totally get it,” Jackson told reporters on Wednesday regarding questions about not taking Watson. “What did I tell you guys earlier in the week? You guys can say whatever you like. I get it. I get the second guessing, the questions and all of that. You are entitled to do all of that. DeShone Kizer is on our team. Deshaun Watson is on their team. We can’t all of a sudden flip them, so why are we having this discussion?”
How about this discussion. Did you, as head coach of the team, argue for the selection of Watson?
“It doesn’t matter,” Jackson said. “He is in Houston. It doesn’t matter for this reason: Whether we did or didn’t, that is not the point. The point is we are getting ready to play the Houston Texans in Houston. Here is our football team. We are 0-5, and we are trying to go get a football victory. It doesn’t matter. He plays quarterback there. Kevin Hogan is playing quarterback for us this week, and DeShone Kizer is backing him up. . . . I understand how you guys feel, but to me, to go down that road and talk about this, that, what should have been and what could have been, that doesn’t do anything for anybody.”
The Browns passed on Watson both with the first overall pick and the 12th pick, trading it to the Texans so that they could take Watson. Jackson, who served as one of the coaches in the Senior Bowl, also was asked whether Watson could have been the No. 1 overall pick, if he had chosen to participate in the Senior Bowl.
“I don’t know that,” Jackson said. “I can’t speculate on that. He is not here. He is playing for the Houston Texans and is doing a good job for them. We have to go slow him down this weekend.”
Yes, they do. And if they don’t — if Watson runs circles around Cleveland defenders the way he has run circles around other defenders — owner Jimmy Haslam may decide to search for a middle ground between the homeless guy who told him to take Johnny Manziel and the current employees of the football operation who told him not to take Deshaun Watson.