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Deshaun Watson’s confidence is returning

It is still early, but Cleveland’s quarterback is getting his on-field mojo working once again.

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

It is still very early, but things are trending in a good direction for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Two days into the club’s three-day mandatory minicamp, Watson has been sharp and drawing compliments for his work in the passing game. And while it is only seven-on-seven and against a limited defensive look, it appears that Watson is getting his mojo back after playing only six games last season following a suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

According to Watson, it all starts with regaining his confidence and feeling good again on the field (quote via a team-provided transcript):

“I feel really good. Like I said before, the biggest thing is the confidence level. Who I am trusting, what I do trust in the work that I put in these past couple of years to get back to this position I’m in. And have the opportunity to go out there and try to win some games and do it with the guys that we have on the field. So I’m enjoying myself, I’m having fun, and I just keep stacking days.

“I think last year was just a little bit slower because I was trying to catch up with all the guys whenever I came back, Week 13 or 12, whatever it was. Just really just trying to pick up the speed of the game and just my eyes and placement. Those little things that people don’t see and don’t realize that kind of go into the reps in the mental game, especially playing a quarterback position. So all that is picking up and just got to continue to work at it.”

The Browns did not trade three first-round picks and hand Watson $230 million in guaranteed money so that he could complete just 58.2 percent of his passes and post a quarterback rating of 79.1 - the numbers he put in limited time last season and both career-lows.

If they have any chance of competing in a loaded AFC, they will need Watson to be the quarterback he was with the Houston Texans from 2018 to 2020 when he averaged 4,280 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and completed 68.7 percent of his passes, along with an average of five rushing touchdowns each season.

There is still a long way to go before Watson and the Browns take the field in a game that matters, which is something that Watson acknowledged on Wednesday when meeting with the media.

But things are looking better on the offensive side of the ball now that Watson is feeling more comfortable, which if he can carry that over into the regular season then the Browns may start to see a return on the big investment they made in their quarterback.