Kevin Stefanski downplays disappointing showing from Deshaun Watson

USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since early January 2021, quarterback Deshaun Watson played football on Friday night. In three series, he completed one of five passes for seven yards.

Coach Kevin Stefanski assessed the performance in a post-game press conference.

“I think he probably wants some throws back,” Stefanski said. “Obviously, playing football for the first time in a while, I thought it was important to get out there with his teammates in this scheme, just hearing a different voice in the helmet, those type of things. I’m sure he had the butterflies and the jitters early. But I think he understands there’s work to do.”

Stefanski said he doesn’t believe the drama regarding Watson’s off-field issue affects his performance. Stefanski also downplayed the idea that not playing with other starters was a factor.

“They had a bunch of players that they don’t play either,” Stefanski said. “So I don’t look too much into that. It’s just — you know, it’s our first game out there. And I think you could tell. You know, I think Jacksonville had one game into it. So for us, just to knock some rust off and then get back to work.”

Stefanksi remained appropriately even keeled about the situation with Watson.

“I think this was important for him to get out there in a game setting, under the lights, with new teammates and go operate,” Stefanski said. “It wasn’t going to be perfect. And even if it was perfect, you can’t overreact to that either. So I just think it was all part of the progression for him.”

As to the apology unexpectedly issued by Watson before the game, Stefanski seemed to welcome it.

“I’ve been around Deshaun now for a few months, and I know he wants to grow,” Stefanski said. “I know that he does. And that’s personally; that’s professionally. And I think he’s very, very serious about doing that. And I think that’s part of that next step for him.”

It’s a step that is coming far later than it should have, frankly. So much could have been avoided if Watson had acknowledged his behavior and made real amends when the claims first were made. If he had people around him who had spoken had truths instead of circling the wagons, maybe that would have happened.

The reckoning always comes. The question is whether it’s embraced or resisted. The longer it’s resisted, the worse it tends to eventually be.

53 responses to “Kevin Stefanski downplays disappointing showing from Deshaun Watson

  1. hard to blame DW.. 2 drop pass from Schwartz on first 3 plays. a Fumble by the RB 2 plays into next drive. Holding on the next time they had the ball. throw in the starting Center goes out on second play .. no where to go but up..

  2. As much as Watson “wants some throws back,” the Browns are going to want some money back

  3. I’ve been saying forever that Watson is the most overrated QB in the league and his whole game was predicated on scrambling wildly to buy time and then chucking it up to Hopkins who would inevitably make an amazing play on the ball. Without Hopkins he will be trash. Mark my words.

  4. Woukd be nice to see some growth on the field and in his personal life….not just on the massage table😁

  5. Between Watsons off the field history, the haul they paid him and for him, and all that rust you think a pop Warner coach wouldn’t send him out there without setting him up to look good. These teams act like the glimmer of the shield will erase what our eyes see. Reminds me of that unnecessary Tua to Hill stunt at a f1 race

  6. Why is this surprising, since he came into the league he has been the king of garbage time stats and most of that time he had Hopkins to bail him out. What he got now

  7. The whole team was a mess that first quarter. Watson will be fine. Worth every penny. Go Browns!!!!

  8. Most overrated player in sports. Go look at his game against the Bears last December when he took 7 sacks and lost the game for his team – to the Bears.

  9. Looks like Watson’s pay rubbed some people the wrong way, just like the multiple victims of this sexual predator.

  10. The good news is that Watson’s off-field drama did not impact his performance. The bad news is that Watson’s performance was exactly what one would expect from a QB that went 4-12 as a starter the last time he played.

  11. No surprise considering he hasnt taken a live snap in over a year. Also lets not rule out that hes a bit overrated. Look at the 2020 season. He only got 4 wins and I would have thought a top flight QB with his skill set would be good for at least 6 or 7 wins alone. I know the Texans suck but still have to wonder if Watson doesnt have elite talent around him like D Hop that he sinks. Also not afraid to say the Browns probably should have kept Baker. Only reason why Baker sucked last year was because of the injury to his arm and other injuries on the offense to key players. Browns hit the panic button for no reason. I know they thought they were getting better by adding Watson and in time that still might be true but there was too much risk with the Watson situation.

  12. 1 of 5 for 7 yards… I suspect that will exceed his production over the regular season

  13. You know what the funny part is…. All those draft picks they gave to Houston….

    The Texans look like absolute geniuses

  14. Watson’s always been a disappointment. Only one playoff win in his career, and always comes up small in big games. Just another empty-stat generator.

    And a disappointment in life, too. A greed-fueled serial sex abuser who can’t even acknowledge what he’s done.

    He’s not, and never will be, a winner.

  15. You could have ended it with the paragraph that ends with “And I think that’s part of that next step for him”, but no you had to get your little dig in there.

  16. When his career is over, he will be considered the worst trade, worst contract, and most overrated player of all time. Mark my words.

  17. Some of his throws last nite were way off, like not even close. He looked bad. Poooooooor Deshaun.

  18. The True Test Will Be What He Plays Like In A Regular Season Game! I Guess We Will Find Out Sometime in 2024.

  19. Before yesterday, I was wondering if the Browns were gong to want Jimmy G. Now I wonder if Jimmy G will want to play for the Browns.

    Jimmy Garoppolo…..Robert Salah on line one.

  20. From the looks of it Browns fans should be worried about their team not the Steelers…..don’t ya think?

  21. Not that many years from now people will be debating what was the worse trade in NFL history, Hershal Walker or Deshaun Watson.

  22. 2020 was Watson’s best season. Hopkins was in Arizona. He is an electrifying player and once he returns to form, if he ever does, he will light it up in Cleveland.

  23. Jacksonville’s starting defense had a lot to do with how Watson looked. He had very little time to throw.

  24. supercharger says:
    August 13, 2022 at 10:04 am
    Most overrated player in sports. Go look at his game against the Bears last December when he took 7 sacks and lost the game for his team – to the Bears.
    __________

    Watson was not playing last December.

  25. supercharger says:
    August 13, 2022 at 10:04 am
    Most overrated player in sports. Go look at his game against the Bears last December when he took 7 sacks and lost the game for his team – to the Bears

    ———

    Watson didn’t play last December. In fact he didn’t play the entire season

  26. It looked more like Watson had too much Popeyes before the game and his hands and fingers were greasy.

  27. A lot of people here who are clearly unfamiliar with him beyond all the ridiculousness that gets reported. Gonna be a lot of crow eating in the future

  28. I mean, he was never a winner in the NFL. Alot of stats were garbage time or running the ball. Almost same stats as kirk cousins…

  29. Kind of crappy outing for Deshaun…but nothing that a good massage can’t make up for…

  30. Watson won the same number of games as Davis Mills, then sat out a year crying about the team he had just signed an extension with. Is anyone surprised he’s rusty at best? Watson isn’t that good. Browns are gonna Brown.

  31. philipdebin7674924491 says:
    August 13, 2022 at 9:47 am
    “I’ve been saying forever that Watson is the most overrated QB in the league and his whole game was predicated on scrambling wildly to buy time and then chucking it up to Hopkins who would inevitably make an amazing play on the ball. Without Hopkins he will be trash. Mark my words.”
    In 2020, the best season of Watson’s career, Hopkins was in Arizona. He threw for 4823 yards, 33 TD’s and only 7 int’s. If he is, as you say, trash without Hopkins, only able to scramble until he is open for a big play, how did this happen? He played on the worst roster in the NFL that year, and led the league in passing yards. He’s not overrated, he was just on a trash team that nobody would have been able to win on. And yes I know, since I spoke actual facts that don’t portray him as an overrated bum, I will have 2 likes against 247 dislikes, but who cares? At least I am living in a realistic world instead of trying to find every way possible to try to discredit his ability. Truth is truth, and regardless of what he is like off the field, on it, he is 100% top ten QB’s.

  32. Waht we all saw last night is how he plays. He’s not elite at all and his record and stats show that. Sorry Browns fans this isn’t going to end well for you. Lots of fans wish they still had Baker I’ll bet.

  33. At least 13 NFL teams went after Watson after he was not indicted, but they must have been wrong and you guys are right that he is over-rated and trash. Are any NFL personnel teams calling you guys for your expertise?

  34. He WAS a top 10 QB once upon a time. Everyone that keeps bringing up his 2020 season doesn’t realize that he didn’t win anything that season. He’s been out of football for over a year and may go another year without taking a meaningful snap. The game will pass him by. It’s nice to see some Browns fans buying Watson jerseys for their daughters, mothers, and sisters though, very thoughtful of you. I’m just thankful that the coach didn’t blame his poor play on the equipment manager not letting Watson bring his own towel.

  35. I can’t stand the guy, but those are likely the first game conditions he’s played under in 18 months. He should probably get a little slack; however I still hope he fails miserably.

  36. crookfactory says:

    August 13, 2022 at 9:51 am

    Between Watsons off the field history, the haul they paid him and for him, and all that rust you think a pop Warner coach wouldn’t send him out there without setting him up to look good. These teams act like the glimmer of the shield will erase what our eyes see. Reminds me of that unnecessary Tua to Hill stunt at a f1 race

    ———
    I cant stand Watson and not a fan of Cleveland but your being either naive or oblivious. No one cares what happens in a preseason game and no coach would be scripting it just to make a qb look good. Their trying to get ready for the season not worried about appearances.

  37. Well it’s not looking like he will miss more than 6-8 games so they better get him tuned up quickly. Guessing if it was going to be a year it would’ve happened before last night.

  38. Stefanski is a clown. Nice job wasting OBJ’s talent in Cleveland you bum. But but but Baker is better without him.

  39. As messed up as this whole deal is, it’s the only way the Browns land a super talent like Watson. It will pass. Deshawn and the Browns will eventually prevail. Gotta take the good with the bad. If Deshawn brings 1 superbowl win 2 Cleveland, it’s all worth it! That’s reality.

  40. When is sex criminal and serial predator Robert Kraft going to be removed from the league? He is a disgrace and a pervert who belongs in prison.

  41. anybody who things deshaun watson will turn the browns franchise around needs their head examined. If he plays his first real game as poorly as he did in the preseason game friday, The fans will turn on him in a heart beat.

    The most popular QB in cleveland is and always will be the backup. Which is why they have gone through an unprecidented number of starters since their return in 99.

    But yea, lets pretend watson is anything more than a 4-12 predator.

  42. kevpft says:
    August 13, 2022 at 10:20 am
    Watson’s always been a disappointment. Only one playoff win in his career, and always comes up small in big games. Just another empty-stat generator.

    And a disappointment in life, too. A greed-fueled serial sex abuser who can’t even acknowledge what he’s done.

    He’s not, and never will be, a winner.

    ===============================
    There’s that pesky NCAA championship he led his team to.

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