QB Deshaun Watson (1.9.23)


On if he accomplished his goals and met expectations during the six games played during the 2022 season:

“Of course, it didn’t meet the expectations. Of course, we wanted to find our way into the playoffs and have extended games and an opportunity to clinch the division and all of these different things. As far as just being able to play football again, get out there and knock some rust off, have some ups, have some downs and have some in-betweens and kind of really get the feel of how we want to operate as an offense and what we look forward to as the Cleveland Browns, it definitely did that. I am excited. I am definitely looking forward to this future for the Cleveland Browns, the organization and this team. I know there are going to be some changes, but at the same time, I am always here for improvement and just trying to get better.”


On how his performance and the time away from football compared to initial expectations:

“It is always the layoff of anything that you do – it can be from anything personal to any activities to work – just having that layoff is definitely tough because you don’t get the full effect and you don’t get the emotions, the mood swings, the adversity and all of that different stuff that you can kind of mentally think of, but it is different when you are living in it going through full speed.”


On if there are any specific new items identified within the Browns offense to discuss with Head Coach Kevin Stefanski for incorporation moving forward:

“Not right now honestly. That is something I think me and Kevin personally should talk about just between us instead of putting it out there. We are going to sit down. Met with him today. We are going to have a man to man conversation. Nothing negative or anything like that, but just what can we do to be better offensively and as a team. My next step in taking this team and taking that leadership role is really stepping out there and really taking this whole locker room under my wings. I am looking forward to that. This year was kind of tough with being in the building, being outside the building and all of different changes and all of the unknowns. Going into this 2023 season and having a pretty clear view of what we can look forward to, I think I can have the opportunity, and that is the role I want to make sure I challenge myself and take over.”


On reflecting on his decision to join the Browns last offseason:

“I am very happy with my choice. I love being here, and I love being in Cleveland. My family loves coming up here to Cleveland. I love this locker room. I love the players. I love the coaching staff. They made it a lot easier for me to transition and come in and be the person I need to be. I am looking forward to the improvements, I am looking forward to what the future holds for us and I am excited to be a Cleveland Brown. I want the best for this city. I want the best for this organization and everyone in this locker room. Like I said before, the ultimate goal is to try to get to that Super Bowl. That is what we have to keep continuing to push for. We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. I have to hold myself to a higher standard as a player, as a person, as a teammate and as a leader. That is what we are going into 2023 thinking of, and I want to continue to have those standards very, very high. Everyone has to hold me to that standard, also.”


On plans for the offseason:

“Being able to relax a little bit and decompress. Once all of that pretty much settles down, then get back to work, watching the tape, watching the film and mastering this offense. Like I said before, mentioned meeting with Kevin and AVP (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt) and (quarterbacks coach) Drew (Petzing) and being able to figure out what we need to do better and then mastering those before we come back for OTAs.”


On ‘saying yesterday it was unfair to expect him to meet previous expectations of what he did in the 2019 and 2020 seasons’ and what people should expect from him last year:

“First, I don’t remember me saying it was unfair. I never said anything about that. Whatever expectations people hold for me, it is always fair. People have their own opinions. People have their expectations. I said for myself, I wasn’t going to come in thinking that I am the best quarterback and I am just going to walk in and win the MVP. I knew that. I am a realist. I know the reality of this game. I know how hard it is to be able to perform consistently. Taking the time off and then stepping into a new situation, that was going to be tough to do. Not saying that I can’t do it and I wasn’t going to be able to do it, but as a realist, I knew that there were going to be some challenges and some ups and downs. For people to sit here and say that I said it was unfair for people to criticize me, no. This is a fair game. This is a sport of business, and you have to come out and perform. For me to be able to go to these expectations for 2023, yeah, the expectations should be high because we have the talent, we have the potential and we have the people and the pieces to be able to meet those expectations. We have to make sure that we are doing everything that we can do consistently each and every week to try to meet those expectations.”


On how much more of an adjustment it will be from now until Week 1 of the 2023 season, and how it compares to the transition from QB Jacoby Brissett to him at starting QB this season:

“I think it will be a lot smoother because we kind of know exactly where we want to go. Me and Jacoby, we came up through different systems. He does different things than I do, and I do different things than he does. He did a very, very great job of controlling everything he needed to control for this offense and for this system. They made sure they wrapped the offense around him so he can be the best he can be. He did a very, very, very, very good job of handling that and controlling what he can control. Going into Week 1 next year, I am looking forward to that and being able to really master what I can really do to have this offense as it is supposed to [be].”


On if the Browns offense’s style and play call will be even more different next season compared to how they changed over the course of the final six weeks of 2022:

“Yeah, most definitely. I think it will be totally different. We have seen a glimpse of what we wanted to do, but I think it will be a lot different for sure.”


On the role he can play as a leader heading into the 2023 season to help the Browns reach their potential, given the talent on the team:

“I think the biggest thing is really just mastering the minors and doing the little things. If we can do the little things, starting with this team, I think the big things can happen. That might sound kind of cliché, but it is the truth. You have to do the little things. We have a young team that is still learning how to play on this level, and we have a lot of guys who are still managing to know that week in and week out every team is good, every team is getting paid to do what they do and every team wants to win. Then that leadership role of just really bringing that confidence to everyone that every time we step on that field we can win the game and we are going to win the game, not just hoping that somebody makes the play and that everyone can make that play. You just have to be ready for those moments and those opportunities. You have to visualize those. You have to manifest those opportunities and those moments so when those moments come, you can take full advantage of it and make those plays.”


On how to take on a larger leadership role with the ability to be with the Browns for the full year:

“Just being around more. Like I said, I missed a lot of time because of the situation I was dealing with. Being around more and having opportunities to know who I am and having opportunities for people to come where I am in the offseason and meeting up as a groups and be able to meet in this city to train, to work out and to hang out. All of these different things. This locker room had the opportunity to meet me this year. For me to be able to step in and take control, they know who I am, they know how I lead and they know how I communicate, and I know how this team is communicating. Each person has a different way of how they handle different situations. With me knowing that and going into the offseason for the new season, that is what I am looking forward to.”


On how defensive coordinator Joe Woods being relieved of duties may impact the Browns, including with stability of the coaching staff and organization:

“I only met Joe Woods this year. He is a great man. He is a great coach. He is a great just person in general. The times I have been able to spend with him in the sauna and just meeting with him talking ball, I know he is going to land on his feet because he is a great man and he is a great person. Whoever gets him is going to be very, very happy with Joe Woods. That is out of my control as far as coaching and figuring out that situation. My job is to lead this team as an offense and making sure this locker room is locked in to play whenever that time comes.”


On his mindset heading into the offseason:

“Really just kind of relaxing, resetting and then getting back to work as soon as possible and figuring out what I need to do watching the tape of this last six games, watching what we can do offensively and talking with (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski), AVP (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt) and (quarterbacks coach) Drew (Petzing) of what we are looking forward to. Whatever pieces come and join us, being able to get them on board so we can all be in sync and on the same page.”


On his approach with two civil suits pending as he enters the offseason:

“I am approaching every day just with a smile on my face and just being able to let my attorneys and my lawyers deal with that situation. I have to focus on moving forward with my career and my life and just letting my attorneys handle that situation. Right now, I can’t really speak or don’t know how that is going to go.”


On what occurred with DE Jadeveon Clowney during the past week, given their relationship:

“JD is going to be good. He is a great teammate, a great friend and everything. We have a great relationship. I am definitely going to of course see him because I think he still lives in Houston so we are going to cross paths, hang out and stuff. It is going to be good. If he is back here, then we would love to have him. If he is not, wherever he lands, he is going to be great for that organization and that team. I am looking forward to JD having the opportunity to show what he has. I am excited for him.”


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