Deshaun Watson’s regular season debut as a member of the Cleveland Browns on Sunday wasn’t exactly stellar, as he was rusty and went just 12 of 22 and threw an interception without notching any touchdowns.
Some Browns fans are understandably hopeful and even excited about how Watson could greatly elevate a team that has been mostly mediocre or bad for many years, but those feelings should be failed back a bit for a little while.
That was the message head coach Kevin Stefanski gave when asked about what he was expecting from Watson in Week 14.
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“I just think it’s always getting back to the basics, specifically for Deshaun,” said Stefanski. “Yes, there’s a long layoff, there’s certain things that will only come with more game reps, more practice, and I expect that to happen.”
When asked if it’s reasonable to expect a big jump in Watson’s second start, Stefanski said he doesn’t want to put any type of expectations on the three-time Pro Bowler.
There Is No Substitute For Game Action
Athletes can run, ride bikes, swim and lift weights all they want to get and stay in shape, and they can even scrimmage against their teammates, but there is no way to simulate the speed, rhythm and pressure of an actual ballgame.
Watson last played in a regular season game on Jan. 3, 2021, which was almost two calendar years ago, and therefore, a considerable amount of rust is to be expected.
Adding to that is the fact that he is playing on a new team and that he has to develop chemistry with them, which obviously takes some time.
Perhaps the best value of the Browns’ final five regular season games is as a tune-up and preparation for next season, when Watson and crew will have a full training camp together.