Deshaun Watson wants 'man-to-man conversation' with Browns coach Kevin Stefanski on plan
The Browns' season had been over for barely an hour when Deshaun Watson made clear what was one of his first priorities.
"I'm just going to go in there and meet with (coach) Kevin (Stefanski) and we going to sit down, watch the tape," Watson said after the season finale at Pittsburgh.
"What we can do? What's the plan? What I like, what do he like?"
No two individuals among the Browns' coaching staff or players need to more be on the same page coming out of this season than Watson and Stefanski.
That's because those two hold the keys to the offense's future.
The last six games of the Browns' 7-10 season were all about getting Watson re-acclimated to the game
after missing the first 11 games due to a suspension for more than two dozen accusations of sexual misconduct
and sexual assault during massage appointments while he was still the quarterback of the Houston Texans.
On top of that, he had to learn a whole new system after being traded by the Texans to the Browns last March.
That re-acclimation period ended with the loss to the Steelers.
The process of getting quarterback and coach on the same page both now and in the future commenced with Monday's exit interviews.
"We're going to have a man-to-man conversation, nothing negative or anything like that," Watson said Monday.
"But just what can we do to be better offensively. And as a team,
my next step in taking this team and taking that leadership role is really stepping up there and really taking this whole locker room under my wings. I'm looking forward to that.
Watson has responded over and over that he was unwilling to set some kind of timetable on when or if that version was coming back.
It was rarely on display during his six-game run this season,
when he completed just 58.2% of his passes for 1,102 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions.
Now that Watson has gone through that initial relaunch phase, he knows some may go back to those lofty expectations.
He doesn't begrudge fans their right to do so, but also wasn't willing to join them.
"Taking the time off and then stepping into a new situation, that was going to be tough to do," Watson said.
"Not saying that I can’t do it and I wasn’t going to be able to do it but, as a realist, I knew that there were going to be some challenges and some ups and downs. …
For me to be able to go to these expectations for 2023, yeah, the expectations should be high because we have the talent,
we have the potential and we have the people and the pieces to be able to meet those expectations.
We have to make sure that we are doing everything that we can do consistently each and every week to try to meet those expectations.”
Click to Explore
The 25 biggest college football stadiums in the country