QB Deshaun Watson (12.21.22)


On what he did with his game ball from Saturday’s win:

“I gave it to my family. They got it.”


On if the weather forecast for Saturday’s game ‘gets in his head at all’ while preparing this week:

“No, not at all. My main job is just going out there and like I said before just executing the gameplan and try to win. Not so much of what the weather is going to be because I can’t control that.”


On the coldest game he has ever played:

“I am not even sure honestly. Probably something in college. Probably one of those ACC Championship games in North Carolina. This is definitely going to be the coldest for sure.”


On the process of reestablishing a connection and familiarity with Head Coach Kevin Stefanski within the Browns offense after returning from suspension:

“This whole process has been just taking it one day at a time. Regardless from when I was in the building in the offseason during training camp and then when I was away from the building, it still was going to be a process regardless because we never really had an opportunity to play in a game together, other than a couple of plays in preseason which was more operational and kind of getting my feet back on the grass. We knew it was going to be a learning curve. We knew that it was going to take some time so we are not pressuring ourselves to try and force any issues or force anything. We just take it one day at a time, one snap at a time and one rep at a time. We just have to continue to build and have that open mind that we can do that.”


On confidence he can thrive in Stefanski’s offensive system:

“Just the balance of the pass and the run. We have a great front five. Those guys up front, the schemes, the way (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan coaches those guys and how detailed they are. Also, just how he can get the guys, the receivers especially, the ball, not just one receiver but everyone has the opportunity to get the ball, make plays and be special. I love the opportunities that we have. I love the way he has schemed up the game. We are just going to continue to grow from there.”


On if he is now better able to get into a rhythm and anticipate what play calls are coming within in a game:

“Yeah, definitely. We talk through each and every opportunity and each and every situation. With us being able to talk through it throughout the week, see the film and have meetings, that is another thing too is Kevin is also in those meetings with us so I get to hear him talk about the way he is thinking about going through the week. When I get there Saturday, Sunday or whenever we are playing, I have an opportunity to know, ‘Hey, this is coming up, unless something they do on defense we have to adjust to things like that.’”


On if he has been more vocal in the offense as compared to earlier in his career, given DE Jadeveon Clowney’s comments about the topic:

“Most definitely. Like JD said, early on in my career, I’m a naturally shy person. I am kind of just a quiet and kind of an observant guy. As I have kind of gotten older and I guess earned my stripes in this game, I just naturally started talking. The guys now with me being older being in the league for six years, we have a lot of guys who are younger than me who look up to me. They ask me questions. For me to be able to get them on the page of what I’m thinking and what I’m seeing, it is a great opportunity that is going to help us overall offensively to try to score more points and be more successful.”


On how watching film from his time in Houston helps him and the Browns WRs get on the same page as it relates to big plays, including off-script opportunities and no-look passes:

“It helps a lot. Some of those opportunities came up, we haven’t capitalized on it, but that is the reps I am talking about during live games is to be able to… We had one last week with (WR) Mike Woods (II). I am scrambling and had two guys come up, and I kind of threw it no-look, but he was going toward the sideline instead of up. Just that little thing if he would have just saw what I was thinking and get on the same page of this is what I’m thinking, ‘Hey, when I’m coming, I’m drawing guys up, and I just go vertical,’ I can just give it to him and he can walk into the end zone. Having those opportunities, scrambles and then just plays that I used to do back in Houston, trying to transfer over here and apply it to our scheme. It is also good because we did the same thing with Coop (WR Amari Cooper). Early on and trying to get him the ball, we used to watch some of the old Oakland and Dallas film of different routes and concepts that he did. It is awesome to be able to pull from there and try to do the same thing here.”


On not having a timeframe for when he expects to be back to full form and if it is possible that it could occur during the final three games of the 2022 season:

“I guess so. My main thing is just operating the offense. Whatever it takes, if it is running the ball 30 times or if it is passing the ball 40 times, whatever it takes to be able to get that win. That is the ultimate goal. I know a lot of people want highlights and the big shots that people were seeing the last time I played, and that is naturally going to come, but we can’t force that issue. You have to understand that the defense and other teams that we play understand that. too. They go back and they have to go back. It is a small sample size of what I do in this system so they have to go back to 2020 and watch what I do. They know that some things might be similar and some things might be different. You just have to take it one play at a time, and eventually, it is going to pop up. When it comes, we have to take advantage of it.”


On if he has experienced a couple of moments yet this season where it seems aspects of his game from previous season are starting to return to full form:

“Each and every week has been getting better. That is what I like to see. Not so much of just, ‘Hey, this is a play of old. I remember this.’ It is more of kind of, ‘Alright, each week, am I getting better? Am I getting sharper with my game and operating at being a quarterback in this system?’ It is a learning curve for myself, too. This is a different system than what I was in back in Houston that I had for five years. This is a totally different change for me, and I am trying to adapt as much as the coaching staff is trying to adapt to me.”


On if he strives to set the bar high with the hopes of Browns teammates matching his level of performance:

“Most definitely. We have the talent. We have the operation. We have a lot of young guys especially who haven’t played as much football as me, Amari, a couple of the O linemen, (RB) Nick Chubb and [guys] like that. The things that I am seeing and the things that I [see] back there as a quarterback, I want them to be able to see the same things because if we can do that, then that is where the more explosive plays are able to happen throughout the game.”


On what he likes about running a no-huddle offense:

“It is really just the defense having to commit to what they want to do. Just switching up the tempo is always good, being able to see the defense and let them show their hand. The hard part is when they don’t show their hand. They have to make a choice because they have to be able to communicate as well as us, too. That is always a good thing.”


On operating offense and the balance between Stefanski and him evaluating what an opposing defense may run against the Browns:

“It is both. It is both of us. Kevin is definitely a play caller, and initiator. He is the one talking to me, but if I see something, I am able to check it and be able to get to that play. That is where the film sessions and communication throughout the week kind of work on gameday.”


On how much he considered or was leaning toward joining the Saints this past offseason:

“I am a Cleveland Brown, and that is the team I was leaning to. I have so much respect for (Saints Head Coach) Dennis Allen and all of the staff that came to visit me, the players and the owners who came and visited me. We had a great conversation, talked and have so much respect for each other. I appreciate the New Orleans Saints for the opportunity.”


On how fortunate he is to have a receiver like Cooper while becoming more familiar with the Browns offense:

“It is awesome. It is a blessing to be able to have Amari and the things that he can do and the things that he brings, and just to be able to be that big brother for me because he is older than me. I have an opportunity to learn from him and what other quarterbacks he played with were thinking and what he thinks on certain coverages versus certain DBs. Also, for him to be able to talk with the younger receivers and show them the way to be a professional and how to prep for each and every game. It is awesome to see.”


On Cooper’s ability to stay alive and create opportunities when extending plays:

“It is awesome to be able to have that. We are just going to continue to build on that. Like I said before, being able to talk to the other receivers in the room and showing them the play is never over until the whistle is blown. There are opportunities in space throughout the whole field, especially when I am scrambling.”


On if it good for a QB to have a head coach who has a steady demeanor on the sideline:

“Of course. It is balanced. That is what you have to do. You can never show your weaknesses, and you never get too high. Just have to keep that balance and keep it neutral and being able to talk and communicate. If you are too high, then some guys might not be able to react to that on certain situations. If you are too low, people might not respect that. With him being balanced and he comes over and he tells you the truth in what he saw, and if he messed up on a situation, he will let us know, ‘Hey, that is my fault.’ That is what you have to do as a coach and as a leader. Just take the blame for every situation, even if the blame is not on you. He does that all of the time. I respect Kevin, I appreciate him and that is one of the reasons why I chose to come play for him.”


On if Stefanski played a significant role in his decision to join the Browns:

“Most definitely. There is a story out there that I haven’t told and I will tell another time, but on that visit, we had an opportunity to be able to talk ball and just the connection we had, it wasn’t even about selling me on Cleveland and what is here; it was mostly just all ball, and him and me had the opportunity to meet and talk about that, see what the future can hold and what we can really do in this system together. That was what I was really excited about and why I was very high on Cleveland.”


On the source of Cooper’s career consistency:

“Just the preparation. He doesn’t really change anything. He knows how to adjust. He is a professional. He studies very, very hard. He understands what we want with him in this system. For him to be able to do that, he knows his opportunity is going to come and he is not going to force the issue, and whenever his opportunities come, he takes advantage of them.”


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