Deshaun Watson’s first preseason game pass was one to forget.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski was quick to deny changing training plans for their quarterbacks after the game.
That the plan always included Jacoby Brissett taking over the QB1 spot on the depth chart this week.
#Browns Kevin Stefanski said while the majority share of first-team reps will now go to Jacoby Brissett, Deshaun Watson will still get plenty of work in that regard as well.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) August 14, 2022
But Brissett, who sat out Friday’s game against Jacksonville, will “work with the 1s” from here on out.
And Cleveland’s $230 million man waits for the final word on any NFL discipline coming from his off-field issues.
There is little doubt he will miss at least the first 6 weeks, raising the urgency to get Brissett comfortable.
Could Be Brissett’s Third Full Season
Regardless of how long the Watson suspension extends, Brissett enters 2022 with a clear starter mentality.
The 6-year veteran started 15 games for the Colts in 2017 and again in 2019.
Behind the same offensive line that pushed Andrew Luck into early retirement, Brissett won just 11 of those 30 games.
But he put up an impressive 31:13 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 1.5% interception rate.
— Noah Weiskopf (@BrownsWithNoah) August 9, 2022
Last season, he went 2-3 as a fill-in starter, with a far-less impressive 5:4 ratio for Miami.
One consistent thing between his Colts and Dolphins days was the 8% sack rate he suffered last year.
But experience counts and Stefanski reports his “Plan B” passer is a solid, veteran presence in the quarterback room.
Brissett also knows better results behind the best offensive line of his career could earn him a much bigger contract in 2023.
Watson Also Hoping For 2022 Starts
Watson’s 1-for-5, 7-yard stat line from Friday night isn’t the only thing he’s trying to move on from.
Just prior to the game with the Jaguars, Watson finally offered an apology to the women involved in his off-field antics.
Watson settled the majority of lawsuits for sexual harassment and related matters, with the final case expected to be heard next spring.
But his NFL case continues under appeal after the league felt dissatisfied with judge Sue Robinson’s disciplinary decision.
#Browns Kevin Stefanski on Deshaun Watson's first apology: Deshaun's been very committed to being best version of himself. I do think he wants to learn and grow as a person.
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) August 13, 2022
Robinson proclaimed Watson guilty of all charges as defined by the NFL, a guilt that was exacerbated by Watson’s lack of remorse.
She did not, however, hit the player with the full-season or indefinite suspension sought by the league.
Her opinion undoubtedly factored into Watson’s public apology, which also aims to mitigate public sentiment against him.
But whether that and his willingness to make a deal with the league lets him play football before 2023 remains to be seen.