Fans give Deshaun Watson ‘enthusiastic reaction’

Fans give Deshaun Watson ‘enthusiastic reaction’

Cleveland Browns training camp

Getty Images

The Browns’ decision to trade for quarterback Deshaun Watson drew mixed reactions from the team’s fans. Some loved it, off-field issues notwithstanding. Some hated it given the off-field issues.

There was no sign of negativity at the first public training session of the training camp on Saturday. As explained by Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot, Watson received an “enthusiastic reception” from fans who attended the session.

Watson was blown away by the excitement. He lingered long after practice signing autographs, posing for photos, autographing his cleats and giving them away to a bunch of kids, who beat him at a game of rock, paper and scissors and got out in his socks.

That doesn’t mean some fans of the team have become unconcerned about the arrival of a man who has faced 24 lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions. (Twenty of them were finished off.) It just means that none of those fans came to practice on Saturday, or that none of them felt comfortable turning an inherently positive event into something that included even a hint of protest.

Regardless, time tends to make even the worst of things a little better, especially as a terrible start to the summer (from a PR perspective) has given way to a three-day hearing that seems to have gone much better than expected for Watson and a month without Developments, which is a lot better than a month of even more bad developments.

Now everyone continues to await Judge Sue L. Robinson’s decision on whether Watson will be suspended (he likely will be) and how long it will be (the Browns, we’re told, are preparing for eight games).

At the moment, the Browns can only prepare for the first week, which takes place regardless of whether Watson is there and how long he will be absent.

“I can’t wait for us to get there [play with him in games], no matter what week we see him,” tight end David Njoku told reporters on Saturday. “Hopefully sooner rather than later.”

That is the basic reality for players and fans unaffected by the allegations. All that matters is getting one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL on the field. And until they know how long he’ll be gone, the focus remains on preparing for the upcoming games.

“We have to take every day as it is,” added Njoku. “Whoever we have, we have to do our best and just keep working.”

They will keep working while they keep waiting. It shouldn’t be long now. Then again, it’s surprising that it took so long.