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Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Checking in with ex-Pats TE Watson

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Former Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson, who leads the Browns with 30 receptions, passed on the opportunity to take part in a conference call with New England reporters today (he doesn't want to be a big story).

Watson -- who now wears jersey No. 82 -- shared his thoughts with reporters in Cleveland and here is a sampling of his remarks, per a team-issued transcript:

* On if it is going to be strange playing against his former team

“Honestly not really. I think guys go through this all of the time. Guys in the NFL, there’s turnover and there’s change on every team.  Every year, there are guys that you have played with or played against. Right now, we are just focusing on the Patriots and that’s just focusing on executing our game plan and preparing for them. They’re a very good football team and we are going to have to play very well in order to beat them.”

* On how Mangini and Belichick are alike and different

“I think they’re both great coaches, they’re both great game-planners.  Obviously, Coach Mangini learned a lot from Coach Belichick, and Belichick learned a lot in turn from Coach (Bill) Parcells.  It's how football works.  Football is about relationships, it’s about passing down knowledge and there are guys under Mangini that are going to be looking at him one day the way he looks at Bill (Belichick).  I think both of them are great coaches in their own right.”

* On why people always speak so highly about their time in New England after they leave there

“I think what Randy (Moss) was saying, and I don’t want to speak for him, but you have relationships. You have relationships with the players and no matter if that’s in Cleveland or New England or Atlanta or wherever you are, locker rooms are special. Locker rooms are always special and that’s the thing about team sports, the locker room. Getting to know these guys and playing with these guys and hanging out for X amount of years, X amount of games, you develop a relationship with the coaches and most importantly with the players. When you hear players talk about places they have been, it’s not necessarily that they want to go back there or they want to put that uniform on or anything like that, it’s more, ‘I enjoyed playing with those guys.’ You have those relationships and those friendships.”

* On what makes Tom Brady so special

“His attention to detail first and foremost. He’s a competitor. He’s probably one of the greatest competitors I’ve ever been around. He wants to win everything, no matter if it’s practice, no matter if it’s a game, no matter if it’s tidilywinks or a card game. Tom wants to win and I think that’s what makes him great. He’s obviously been in the system for a very long time now. He knows it like the back of his hand and that’s what makes a quarterback dangerous, when they know the system so well that they don’t even need the coach. They could go and run the game themselves.”

* On if coming to Cleveland was a good move for him

“Definitely. I’m enjoying myself, I like the guys in the locker room, I like the coaching staff and I like the area. Obviously, it’s a change of pace, but my family and I are enjoying being here in Cleveland definitely.”