A few days into training camp for the 2022 NFL season, the Cleveland Browns are moving forward as if it’s business as usual.
Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones are catching passes, the defense is working on being dominant and head coach Kevin Stefanski is looking to keep everyone focused.
Of course, it’s not business as usual for Cleveland.
The Deshaun Watson saga continues to hang over the team, and there is no indication when an official decision will come from the league office on what seems like an imminent suspension.
There has been speculation that he and the Browns may dodge a bullet, and that the team’s new quarterback may face a lighter suspension than first thought.
But Stefanski has adopted a healthy mindset towards the uncertainty surrounding his new signal-caller, and it sounds like he’s looking to impart that mentality to everyone on his team.
#Browns HC Kevin Stefanski on Deshaun Watson's ruling taking this long: "You control the controllables. I control what goes on on this field, so I do that. It's important for me, all of us, to control what we can control."
— 92.3 The Fan (@923TheFan) July 29, 2022
“You control the controllable,” said Stefanski. “I control what goes on on this field, so I do that. It’s important for me, all of us, to control what we can control.”
All The Browns Can Do Is Take It One Day At A Time
Whenever a team or individual is facing such uncertainty that could torpedo its biggest hopes and dreams, the best way to deal with it is to simply have day-to-day goals while keeping the end in mind.
The other thing that helps is having contingency plans in place.
Cleveland recently acquired Josh Rosen, the former University of California-Los Angeles star who was the 10th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, for more insurance at the QB spot.
Rosen likely won’t move the needle one bit, but at least he can give Stefanski a bit of peace of mind just in case things get nasty.
The coach has said that Jacoby Brissett will start under center if and when Watson gets suspended by the NFL for his ongoing sexual misconduct allegations, and he has also stated that both Watson and Brissett will get considerable action during camp.
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski clarifies the QB depth chart, after the addition of Josh Rosen: “Jacoby (Brissett is) our backup quarterback. If Deshaun (Watson is) unavailable, Jacoby’s our starter.”
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 27, 2022
“Jacoby (Brissett is) our backup quarterback,” said Stefanski. “If Deshaun (Watson is) unavailable, Jacoby’s our starter.”
There is no doubt that, when whole, this Browns team is fully capable of making the postseason and perhaps even throwing a scare at one of the true contenders in the AFC come playoff time.
However, if Watson has to miss a considerable amount of time, it’s hard to imagine Cleveland taking part in the playoffs this winter.
Still, Watson is the team’s QB moving forward, as it gave him a five-year, $230 million contract shortly after trading for him.
Even if he’s not allowed to play this season, the work he’s putting in right now with his new teammates should pay dividends not too long from now.
Even before camp, Watson really put in the effort to build chemistry with and get to know his new mates.
People can say what they want about him off the field, but at the very least, he’s trying to do what he needs to do to show good leadership on the field, at least so far.