QB Deshaun Watson (12.17.22)


On the energy during his first start with the Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium:

“It was great. From the time we came out pregame, you could feel the energy in the air.  I had a couple of playoff games [with Houston]. For this to be a December game, a divisional game to feel like that feeling I felt back in 2019 going against Kansas City when I was in Houston, that feeling was special. Coming out and just the way we played on both sides and all three phases of the ball really, special teams, defense and offense played complementary football. The defense took it away. We left some points out there on the board that we want back. That is the learning and the growth. We went against a great defense. You have to give them credit. It was special to be able to get this victory in front of the fans.”


On his TD pass to WR Donovan People-Jones:

“Just reading the defense. They played zone coverage and the corner is sitting back. I gave DPJ the ball.  Thatis what I need to do is just give our talent and our offensive guys opportunities to make plays in space. Once I gave them to him, he made that play, the defense overran it and he got into the endzone. It was a great play by DPJ, a great route and me just pitch and catch and keep giving him the ball and opportunities.”


On adjusting to weather conditions today:

“It was fun. It was great. It was a great fun game on the lake, especially in the fourth quarter when it started coming down and swirling around. It didn’t bother me. My job was going out there, competing and making plays, getting the ball to the guys that needed to get it, taking care of the ball and letting (RB Nick) Chubb and (RB) Kareem (Hunt) tote the ball. It was fun to be out there. My first home game was a victory, and it was special. Many more to come.”


On feeding off the defensive performance, including a 94-yard TD drive:

“We got a little tempo going so we wanted to keep them off balance for what they wanted to do. That is what we did. We kept it simple.  Called the plays, and (Head Coach ) Kevin (Stefanski), AVP (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt), (quarterbacks coach) Drew (Petzing) and (offensive line coach) Bill (Callahan) and all of the offensive coaches did a great job of calling that drive. That is what we want to do is just get the ball [into our playmakers’ hands] and take care of the ball as much as possible. That is what we did. Guys made big plays in the receiving game, and we made some big runs, also.”


On where he is becoming more comfortable with his game since returning from suspension:

“All around. Just everything. From the swagger to operating the offense to being able to know exactly where everyone is going to be, when we need to call a timeout, when we don’t need to call a timeout, when we need to go for it and overall just everything. Football is coming back each and every week. That is my job. Like (DE) Myles (Garrett) said before, I don’t need to come in and try to do anything special. If we just come in and I just do my job as a quarterback, then everything is going to come in place.”


On the Ravens often pulling their opponents into ‘ugly games’ and being able to get the win today:

“That is what you have to do. Especially against that defense and against that team in general, offensively for them they are going to run the clock down as much as possible. The first half went super fast. They want to control the ball, and defensively, they want to get you off the field. They don’t want you to run the ball. They want you to pass as much as you can. They have some guys in the secondary that make plays. You just have to be patient. The plays are going to open up. Don’t try to take the big one when it is not there, take the easy ones that they give you and keep the chains moving. That is what we try to do.”


On Browns fans cheering for him:

“It was really cool. It was fun. The whole game was super fun. The fans, the appreciation not just for me but just for the whole team, was awesome. That is what we got to continue to build each and every week. Like I said before, that is one reason why I wanted to come here was to feel that energy, feel the fans and be able to win a lot of games on the lake and win a lot of games for the Cleveland Browns.”


On the Browns defense’s performance today:

“It was great. It was great to see that on the sideline. It was great for the offense because we fed off of that energy. We fed off of the turnovers. We fed off of all of that stuff. For them to be able to have the game that they had, just continue to build from that. We have a lot more football to play, and hopefully, that can continue to build and grow from that.”


On his emotions at the end of the game:

“It was a lot. Just to be able to get my first victory in my first home start and just to get a victory against a tough divisional team. Of course, last week we wanted that one but it didn’t go our way, but this week was a new week and a new opportunity. It was just me soaking in the moment and just releasing all of the energy and happiness that I had in myself. I just wanted to kind of yell that and scream that out. I feel like everyone needs that every once in a while. Came back to my brothers and congratulated every single one of those guys and told them, great job. It was good to celebrate with them in the locker room.”


On motioning to WR Michael Woods II after an incomplete pass and what he said to Woods:

“I just told him the play is never over. I have made plays out in space, and everyone just has to work with me. Regardless if guys are coming up, the play is never over. That was an opportunity for him to be able to continue to go. I know you all have seen the play with (Chiefs QB) Pat(rick) Mahomes last week. I felt like I could do the same. No-lookers and all that stuff, it just kind of comes natural. I am going to always try to extend the play for the best for the team. That was an opportunity. That is something that he is going to grow as a young receiver and working with me for the last couple of weeks. We are going to continue to grow from there, and hopefully, we can make some big plays outside the pocket.”


On if Browns fans saw glimpses of who the Browns can ultimately become:

“Definitely, we can compete with the best. It doesn’t matter who we play, each and every week we have the opportunity to go out there and compete and go out there and win. Of course, we want to score more points and of course we want to have the highlights, but that is going to come. We did the little things, especially for December football. December football is tough. Every game that you watch is going to come down to the very, very end. You are going to have some games that is high scoring and some games it comes down, especially against a Baltimore team like this. The last four games have been 10-9, 13-3 and things like that. It comes down to that. I thought the fans appreciate that and they are going to continue to grow from that, and yeah, it is definitely a small glimpse of what we are going to do in the future.”


On RB Nick Chubb being able to take some pressure off of him through the running game:

“It is awesome because you have that balance. The defense can’t just sit on a one-dimensional offense. Early on, you could tell they knew we wanted to run the ball and we couldn’t in the first half so they knew we wanted to pass it. Once the run game kind of [got going, it] opened up everything else. That 94-yard drive, the passes started coming open because they knew that Chubb and Kareem were a play away from just breaking it. They had a couple of big runs on that one so they had to respect that. Then we got behind them on some crosses. It was good to be able to have that balance.”


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