QB Deshaun Watson (12.29.22)


On how playing in tough weather conditions the past two weeks have helped him get acclimated to playing in Cleveland within the Browns offense:

“I guess it helps. My biggest focus is just trying to get acclimated to the organization and to how we run things from practice to regular game weeks to gameday. So much of the weather I can’t really control. That is out of my control. My main focus is really just preparing myself to get ready and be the best I can be for us to have a chance to win on Sundays.”


On WR Amari Cooper stating plans to work with him in the offseason:

“I am not exactly sure where we are going to work out, but we are definitely going to get time to get the timing and everything that you want for the next season adjusted and well worked out. Then for anybody else, I know there are going to be a lot of changes. That is how the NFL offseason goes, especially in the offseason. After the season, we will talk with (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski), we’ll talk with AB (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry) and try to give a guess at who is going to be here, and then get everyone that especially offensively who can come out and train with us and be on the same page so we can get as many reps as we can to catch up.”


On if it is possible to end the season feeling as comfortable at QB as he was in 2020 with two games to play and six in total:

“It is two opportunities for me personally to be able to get as close as I can to where I was before. Like I mentioned before, I don’t want to be just where I was in 2020. I want to be better than that. Each and every time I step on the field is my opportunity to get better as a quarterback, learn something new situational, condition wise, operational wise to play calling and everything that I can to be able to get myself up to date so when I step back on the field in 2023 that we don’t have those problems anymore.”


On if it is hard to remain patient while waiting for everything to completely click for him within the Browns offense:

“I have a lot of patience to be honest. I have been waiting patiently for two years. Patience is not a problem for me. I just put my head down, just grind, work out and just train as much as I can to make sure when that time comes and that moment comes, we will be ready to go and roll.”


On his comfort level with the Browns organization, its operations and its rhythm:

“I feel very comfortable. I don’t have a percentage or a level of where I am comfortable, but I am pretty comfortable. I am happy. I am enjoying this process. I am enjoying each and every day and getting to know everyone. I don’t know everyone in the building so I am still getting to know everyone and how things kind of operate or who I need to talk to outside of football or within football. That is just a process that is not just for right now, it is the long run. That is why I came to Cleveland. It is not about right now. It is the long run. That is what I am looking forward to.”


On evaluating his performance last week in challenging weather conditions:

“It was good. We watched the tape. Offensively, we did what we needed to do. We had the opportunities to make plays and win the game, and we just didn’t capitalize on those.”


On if there was a balance last week of throwing a football hard to cut through the wind while also not throwing too hard to hinder receivers’ ability to catch the football:

“You have to have a balance. There are a couple of balls that I threw – one to Amari – that I didn’t put too much velocity on it, but the wind caught it and it went over his head. Another one to DPJ (WR Donovan Peoples-Jones) on the fourth down, it kind of sailed over his head and it caught the wind. Then also you saw early on the second play of the game where I tried to throw a drag route to Amari, and the wind caught it. The same way, (TE) David (Njoku) Chief  on the rollout on the bootleg, the wind caught it and it kind of floated up. Like I said, you can’t really control that. You just have to know on certain routes and certain throws that you have to try to fire it in there when you can, and sometimes you can’t catch the wind at the right time and that you can hit some other ones.”


On how his footwork has improved since his first game this season:

“I always have room to improve. I am never satisfied. I am never comfortable. I am never complacent. For me, yeah, I am always going to continue to get my footwork. This is a new system for me. I was so used to a different system back in Houston where I kind of controlled my own footwork and depended on timing and different things like that. This system is more timing and rhythm so I have to get used to that. Time being away, I had to try to adjust. When I came back, some things shifted in the rules. I am still getting comfortable with that and still getting used to that, but it is actually getting better each week.”


On if he expects to score more points given improved weather this week and more time within the Browns offense:

“I am always expecting that. We don’t go into a game not thinking that, regardless of the weather. Last week, we thought that we could put up however many points that we can. Once those opportunities come, we have to take advantage of that. We can’t force the issue. We have to do the little things and make sure we have our opportunities to get down there to even put up points. This is an opportunity for us to be able to continue to improve as an offense as a whole and as a team to go out there and score points and show what the Cleveland Browns are about.”

On his progress in the Browns offense since the first start of the season at Houston in Week 13:

“I feel very comfortable with it. The progress is continuing to grow each and every week. The stats might not show it or say it, but right now, like I said before, this is not about any statistics or anything like that. It is about me improving as a quarterback and getting back into rhythm and getting into the rhythm of this offense and this team. As far as my decision making, reads, throws, timing and everything like that, it has been getting better each and every week. My main focus is listening to what (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski), (quarterbacks coach) Drew (Petzing), AVP (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt) and what the staff have to say in what they feel like I am getting better at and not what the outside people say.”


On where he has improved most in recent weeks:

“Just operational. Just being able to operate in the system. Not having or maybe having one operational penalty in four games as I think, maybe two. That is really good. Then just being able to control my footwork in the system and having the opportunity to make plays.”


On if the team ran enough QB runs last week and if there are opportunities to do more in future weeks:

“Of course. We will see. I am not sure.”


On where he needs to make more improvements in the final two games:

“Offensively, especially as the quarterback, we want to score more points. Not just for me but for the whole offense, we want to score points and put ourselves in position to put a game away and help our defense out and our special teams out. I know it is a team game and we have to complement each other, but we can help ourselves offensively. I take pride in that, and I take full control and responsibility of that. Whatever we need to do to figure out each and every week going against a different philosophy, different team and different coordinator, we have to find ways to put more points on the board.”


On what the team can learn about itself when playing games after being eliminated from playoff contention, given he has experienced it in the past:

“Pretty much who loves football. I think everyone, especially in this locker room, understands that each and every week regardless of if you are in the playoffs or not in the playoffs it is an opportunity to evaluate yourself and for other teams to evaluate yourself because this is a business. You never know regardless if you have this many years on your contract or don’t. Every game is an opportunity you to go out there and put film out there for the next team, the next opponent or the next job opportunity you have to improve and show that you are capable of playing in this league.”


On the Commanders defense:

“You can tell that they play together and they understand their philosophy and what they want to do on defense. It of course starts up front with all four or five of those first-rounders up front, and then it trickles into the linebackers and to the secondary. They play with confidence, and they know who they are. We have to go out there and we can’t slack in any area. We have to make sure that we try to win our one-on-one matchups because there are no real weaknesses in that defense. We have to go out there and respect them and respect every player on that team.”


On his comment about not paying attention to statistics and if it a tough adjustment playing in climates where the statistics may ultimately be lower due to the weather conditions compared to home games in a dome:

“My main focus is winning. I came to Cleveland to win the Super Bowl. By any means, if that is throwing the ball five times or throwing the ball 40 times or scoring five touchdowns or scoring zero touchdowns, as long as we win, that is all that matters and that is all I really care about. The stats and stuff like that, I have done that before. I have had opportunities before. I have led the league in passing before. I have scored a lot of touchdowns. Did Pro Bowls and all of that stuff. Like I said, my ultimate goal is trying to get that ring, and I am going to do whatever I can to be able to try to have the opportunity.”


On if he expected his stats to potentially be lower with the Browns due to the team’s emphasis on running the ball, including with RB Nick Chubb’s abilities:

“I doubt Kevin is going to each and every gameplan thinking he is trying to get somebody stats or anything like that. The stats and all of that stuff is for outside media, the outside people and fans to talk about. When you are going in each and every week, you have to adjust. You have certain teams that take away the run game and want us to pass and vice versa. You have to go into each and every week thinking that you are going to have opportunities, and when those opportunities come, each person has to take advantage of it. You never know how those starts are going to shape up or shake out. Of course, it is a transition for me coming in as a quarterback, and we do a little bit different stuff than the previous quarterback. We all are adjusting and learning on the fly.”


On why he was unable to attempt a pass on the Browns’ last offensive play of last week’s game:

“The guy made a good play. They had a great coverage. No one was open. I stepped up, and No. 96 (Saints DE Carl Granderson) made a good play. Like I mentioned before, I can’t end the game with the ball in my hands, but you have to give the same credit – they made a great play. He came in late, and he made the play.”


On the importance of continuing to grow with Stefanski and within Stefanski’s offense, given public criticism about Stefanski being on the ‘hotseat’:

“It is very important to be able to build that opportunity, that trust and that chemistry between each other. We have only had four games with each other and a little bit of offseason. We want to do that. The ‘hotseat’ stuff and all of that, that is for media, talk and stuff like that. People who make those decisions do the right things for the organization, but we all trust Kevin, we love Kevin, we support Kevin and we respect Kevin and everything that he is about with the Cleveland Browns. Again, we are going to continue to build that trust and build that chemistry and look for the future.”


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