Former Cleveland Browns tight end Benjamin Watson, now with the New Orleans Saints, was a guest on Bull & Fox on 92.3 The Fan this afternoon. Based on what we've see from tight end Jordan Cameron in camp so far, it might not be long before fans are wishing we had a reliable veteran like Watson back.
Watson talked about the time he enjoyed spending in Cleveland, how he feels about having to play second fiddle to Jimmy Graham with the Saints, and what it's like playing for quarterback Drew Brees. To close out the segment, he was asked about how rough it was playing for a young team, and whether he thinks former teammate Josh Gordon can keep his head on straight. You can listen to the entire interview here, but I transcribed the Browns-related stuff below:
Bull: "You played with young quarterbacks the past couple of years [in Cleveland]. How tough was it going through those struggles here?"
Ben Watson: "I wouldn't characterize it as tough, honestly. We had a very young team last year, really the last two years in Cleveland. With Eric Mangini, we had more of a veteran team. There's something fun about growing with guys and seeing guys grow up in the game and seeing guys get better each week, seeing the progression of a Greg Little, seeing the progression of Jordan Cameron or Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy. Yes, it's difficult on Sundays not to win. Everybody wants to win and you feel like you're falling short lots of times, but that comes with time and that comes as guys kind of stick together like they've done here [in New Orleans]. They've had this same core group of guys since 2009. That can happen in Cleveland if you're able to keep them together."
Bull: "Josh Gordon is suspended for the first two games of the year. It's concerning because he had a lot of drug issues in college. After spending a year with him, are you confident that he can get his career on track in terms of staying out of trouble?"
Ben Watson: "I'm confident that anybody can do it if they want to. For Josh, it's got to be a 'want to' from him. Nobody can do it for him. Nobody can threaten him or any of that stuff. When he wants to, and I'm assuming he already has, he wants to clean it up and be serious about football, the sky is the limit for him too. This is a guy who when he first got to Cleveland, we had to get on him every day to make him sprint five yards after you caught the ball. He just didn't know. Then you fast-forward to the end of the year, and he's coming around and he's becoming that receiver and that pro that we all know he can be. I believe that he can definitely turn it around and have a successful career."