Before Deshaun Watson makes his Browns debut in the first preseason game against the Jaguars on Friday at TIAA Bank Stadium, he spoke with Aditi Kinkhabwala during the Browns Countdown pregame show about his start and ruling from Judge Sue L. Robinson.
A full transcript of the interview is below:
Kinkhabwala: "OK, Deshaun. As you get ready to get on the bus, let's just start with this one: It's been 19 months since you played a game of competitive football. How are you feeling about that?"
Watson: "I'm super excited. I'm excited to get out there with my new teammates and go out there and compete. Each and every snap, I want to make sure I cherish that because I'm not sure when the next time I'll be able to get out there with those guys so I'm super excited."
Kinkhabwala: "As you say that, your eligibility is still in question, and although this appeal is ongoing, I have to ask you: The initial ruling from Judge Sue (L.) Robinson made a very specific point of saying that your lack of remorse played into her decision making. It's been a part of the narrative surrounding you. What is your response to that?"
Watson: "Look, I want to say that I'm truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation. The decisions that I made in my life that put me in this position I would definitely like to have back, but I want to continue to move forward and grow and learn and show that I am a true person of character and I am going to keep pushing forward."
Kinkhabwala: "Grow and learn, we fully expect that there will be some time that you are away from the team. What does your growth on a personal level look like? How are you spending that time?"
Watson: "I know I have a lot of work to put in, especially on the field to be able to make sure I'm ready to play whenever that time comes whenever I can step back on the field, but also, the biggest thing is I want to continue counseling and I want to make sure that I'm growing as a person, as an individual for my decision making on and off the field. I want to make sure that I'm just evolving in the community as much as possible, and that is for the Cleveland community, that is the NFL community and beyond."
Kinkhabwala: "OK, we appreciate the time, Deshaun."
Watson: "Thank you."