Unfortunately for the Browns and Watson, the team is sitting at 4-7 upon his return.
While the record is a little worse than most expected, and worse than it should be as the games have played out, it is surprising that Jacoby Brissett is the reason for success instead of the reason for failure. Brissett played very well as the team’s temporary starter and has been lauded for his leadership.
While some may have questions about HC Kevin Stefanski as the leader of the team, his work with Brissett once again provided his ability as an offensive play-caller.
Brissett isn’t the first quarterback that Stefanski has brought the best out of. As the play caller, he’s brought the best out of Kirk Cousins and Baker Mayfield. While his time as the offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings was brief, what he did with Cousins was amazing and Browns fans are very aware of his work with Mayfield.
While there are different data points to look at for quarterbacks, Pro Football Focus’ rankings provide an interesting one. They tell the story of Stefanski’s impact on his quarterbacks:
You can say whatever you like about Kevin Stefanski but his track record for elevating QB play as an OC/HC is amazing— Jack Duffin (@JackDuffin) November 29, 2022
Pre KS - 26th
With KS - 6th
Pre KS - 17th
With KS - 8th
Pre KS - 15th
With KS - 9th
Pre KS - 3rd
(PFF QB Rank)
It is fair to say that Watson is the most talented quarterback Stefanski has gotten to work with but how much better can he be? Cleveland’s play-caller has done a great job of designing plays that are successful and calling them at the right times.
The team’s solid running game is a vital piece of the puzzle, obviously.
While we tried to address what we think we can expect from Watson, it really will be a learning experience for the quarterback, Stefanski and the fans. The team’s new quarterback can make plays in a variety of ways including with his legs.
While it may be hyperbole, based on Stefanski’s history Watson could become the best quarterback in the NFL sooner rather than later.