Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson got into a battle on social media with Philadelphia Eagles reporter Eliot Shorr-Parks, involving the Browns QB’s stats against the Eagles defense in joint practices.
What Sparked Deshaun Watson’s Social Media Spat With Eagles Reporter?
Shorr-Parks provided a summary of the Eagles-Browns joint practices. ESP, as he is known in Philadelphia media circles, was originally complimentary of the Browns QB:
“The Eagles defense definitely got the better of Watson during the joint practices. Watson had a few really nice throws at times, beating good coverage with better throws. His arm definitely has the ability to make special throws.”
This observation of Watson’s arm strength should be no surprise, as Watson has one of the strongest arms in the NFL.
Deshaun Watson Training Camp Stats vs Eagles defense:
The Eagles defense definitely got the better of Watson during the joint practices
Watson had a few really nice throws at times, beating good coverage with better throws. His arm definitely has the ability to make special… pic.twitter.com/sv5RjUM3eJ
— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) August 16, 2023
Shorr-Parks was as critical of Cleveland’s offensive line and their lack of pass protection and attributed some of Watson’s poor passes to the Eagles’ pass rush.
“The pass rush definitely got the better of Watson as he was really only effective in 7v7, not 11v11. The Eagles’ pressure forced Watson into some bad decisions, and in two days, they ended up picking him off as many times as they allowed INTs.”
Shorr-Parks provided his account of Watson’s statistics for Day 2 and overall:
- Day 2: 7 of 16, three TDs, two INTs
- Overall in two days: 17 of 33, three TDs, three INTs
What did Watson Say in the Rebuttal?
Watson’s response read “Lol” with a cap attached.
Lol 🧢 https://t.co/HRSPblMAw8
— Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) August 16, 2023
Watson’s reaction is understandable if he believes the reporter reported inaccurately or was overcritical, but as an unbiased reader of the account, it doesn’t appear Shorr-Parks was taking unwarranted swipes at Watson.
Shorr-Parks paints a picture of a QB that was under duress from a defensive front that was overwhelming the opposition and forcing him into mistakes.
Not many NFL analysts question Watson’s talent. He has a history of being an outstanding QB from high school to his collegiate days at Clemson to his NFL career.
The off-the-field concerns with Watson remain the most glaring question marks, and how he handles the full-time spotlight of being a starting NFL QB again will be telling.
Watson would be better off ignoring beat reporters and the constant funnel of negativity that can come from the social media beat. If this is any sign of what is to come, Watson may push back on any criticism of his play — whether on social media or otherwise.