Mitchell Schwartz say Browns fans shouldn't be 'super optimistic' about chances
By Randy Gurzi
Former NFL offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz began his stellar career with the Cleveland Browns. A former second-round pick, he played in Northeast Ohio from 2012 through 2015 before heading to the Kansas City Chiefs where he played until 2020.
Despite his time in Cleveland, Schwartz isn't trying to sugarcoat anything when giving his outlook on the 2023 campaign. In an exclusive interview with Betway Insider, Schwartz broke down the 2023 NFL Draft and gave his opinion on the upcoming season.
While he spoke on multiple teams, it was his take on the Browns that really stood out. Schwartz stated that the fan base shouldn't be ‘super optimistic right now’ about their chances in the AFC North.
Schwartz gave praise to the other three teams but really made this all about Deshaun Watson and his performance from 2022 — saying that if his play remains the same, this could be the worst team in the AFC North.
"If Deshaun Watson plays the way he played last year, then that's going to be the worst team in the division. "- Schwartz
He did add that he believes Cleveland could be the third team, seeing them as better than the Pittsburgh Steelers, but again, tied it back to Watson.
Deshaun Watson was always the key to the Cleveland Browns success in 2023 and beyond
Not to take anything away from Schwartz but this opinion wasn't one where he went out on a limb. The Browns gave up an awful lot for Watson then spent this entire offseason trying to build around him — while also improving their defense.
As of now, they have a very talented roster but none of that means anything if the quarterback continues to struggle. And Watson did struggle in 2022.
To be fair, he had a 700-day layoff, so this was expected. However, the NFL is a "what have you done lately" league and no one is going to give Watson, or the Browns, any respect until they prove they deserve it.
Their first chance at that comes Sep. 10 when they host the AFC North champs, the Cincinnati Bengals, in Week 1.