Browns expect Deshaun Watson to take more control of the offense, return to form in 2023

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The Browns gave up a lot in draft compensation, money and reputation in acquiring Deshaun Watson. For better or worse, richer or poor, the Browns are married to the quarterback for at least four more years.

So, they have no choice but to make the most of the relationship.

Watson had not played in almost two years when he returned to the field last season after an 11-game suspension. He did not play like a quarterback worthy of the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history, throwing for 1,102 passing yards, seven touchdowns, five interceptions and posting a 3-3 record in six starts.

The Browns, though, are confident that, after knocking the rust off, Watson will return to the Pro Bowl-level form he showed with the Texans.

“I think confidence for me comes from seeing it, and I’ve seen him do it,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said, via Anthony Poisal of the team website. “I saw him do it in those games last season. I know it wasn’t perfect. I certainly wasn’t perfect. We weren’t perfect around him and as we all know, it’s not a one-man show. It’s a team game and we didn’t have as much team success as we would’ve liked late in the season there.

“But I’ve seen it from Deshaun in games. I’ve seen it from practice. I’ve seen it in his career, so that’s why I’m confident.”

The Browns upgraded the weapons for Watson, adding receivers Elijah Moore and Marquise Goodwin and tight end Jordan Akins. Improvement from Watson, though, is the biggest reason for optimism in Cleveland.

“I think we’re all very excited about Deshaun, excited for a full offseason with the guys he’s already built chemistry with and some of the additional players that we’ve added to the offense,” General Manager Andrew Berry said. “I think just even familiarity with Kevin and the offensive staff and just honestly even settling into a new environment. We’ve seen him obviously in practice and game settings. We’ve seen his talent, seen his ability, but it’s an adjustment period, and we feel really good about him getting a full spring, a full summer, and perhaps a more normal start to the regular season boding well for the team.”

The Browns expect to give Watson more freedom at the line of scrimmage this season because of the quarterback’s “comfort in the system.”

“He did it sometimes last year. I think that will only grow the more reps he gets in our system,” Stefanski said.

11 responses to “Browns expect Deshaun Watson to take more control of the offense, return to form in 2023

  1. Deshaun looked HORRIBLE when he returned after the suspension! The Brown’s are already regretting making the trade.

  2. Watson is no longer on his cheap deal, he’s expensive.
    And the cap hits get worse next year.
    This may be the Browns best chance for a super bowl, not that thats likely.

  3. As much as I like Stefanski and wish the best for Browns’fans, I hope Watson falls flatly and regularly on his keister.

  4. Fast forward to mid season 2023, Watson is in elite shape an more allegations come forward…
    Come to think of it Goodell should sign his extension sooner rather than later

  5. He did return to form. He played exactly like you would expect without his blanket, Hopkins.

  6. He will return to form. Padding his stats when the game is already decided.

  7. It’s kind of like that saying where good employees having a slightly off day will be treated much worse than an employee who never does good work because there is higher expectation for the good employee even if they aren’t fair.

    Dashaun after not playing for two years looked AVERAGE. People are acting like he was out there looking like Nathan Peterman but a rusty Deshaun basically put up similar stats to what he did as a rookie with his only bad games being his first game back and the ice bowl game where it was -8 degrees outside. Eliminate those two games and he was miles better than what Baker gave the Browns the season before that so just based on that Cleveland has zero reason to be worried as long as he stays healthy since if that’s Watson’s worst and he never gets back to 3,000+ yard seasons (not likely with the talent around him), it’s still an upgrade. Their worry should be the defense and special teams who is the reason they lost the games they did.

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