Browns Make Final Call on Starting Quarterback

Jacoby Brissett

Getty Images Josh Rosen of the Cleveland Browns talks with Deshaun Watson and Jacoby Brissett.

The Cleveland Browns made it clear that Jacoby Brissett has no competition for the No. 2 quarterback spot and he’ll be the starter if Deshaun Watson misses any amount of time.

The Browns brought in former first-round pick Josh Rosen before camp and there’s been some scuttlebutt about the team searching for other options via trade of free agency. However, head coach Kevin Stefanski made it very clear that Brissett is their guy if Watson is out.

“Jacoby is our backup quarterback. If Deshaun is unavailable, Jacoby is the starter,” Stefanski told reporters at camp on July 27.

The trick now for the Browns is splitting the reps between Watson and Brissett as they prepare for the year. Both are new to the team, playbook and personnel and need time working with the starters with the season approaching.

“I would not get into the exact percentage, but they are both going to get a ton of reps,” Stefanski said. “Really, they both got a ton of reps in the spring. I think that was the benefit of that offseason program was getting Deshaun a ton of reps and getting Jacoby a ton of reps. That does not change.”

Browns Taking Watson’s Situation a Day at a Time

Kevin Stefanski: They're locked in | Press ConferencesKevin Stefanski addresses the media on July 27, 2022 #BrownsMedia #PressConferences2022-07-27T19:39:29Z

The Browns are hoping for a decision sooner than later from Sue L. Robinson, who is presiding over Deshaun Watson’s disciplinary proceedings. Knowing how much time Watson will miss — if any — can help the Browns plan for their season, although Stefanski is just taking it a day at a time.

“I think we just deal with it. That is our mentality,” Stefanski said. “We are going to deal with July 27, and then we get to tomorrow, we will deal with tomorrow. That is kind of how we operate.

“It may be unprecedented compared to the rest of the league. For us, we just think about what is in front of us for that day.”

Brissett, 29, has experience as a starter put up 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions over his career. He has the support of his teammates if he does take up the starting role, including star pass-rusher Myles Garrett.

“He’s a very quality quarterback,” Garrett said. “He’s a solid player. He’ll come in and be a good leader for us even when he’s not on the field. And when he’s on the field, I think he’s talented enough to win games by himself. I’m looking forward to see what he can do.”

Browns Not Overly Confident in Josh Rosen

The Browns brought in Rosen as a fourth camp arm to play alongside Watson, Brissett and Joshua Dobbs, although Stefanski didn’t sound overly excited about the move.

“We felt like we should add a fourth quarterback, brought Josh in for a workout and obviously signed him, but I would not read too much into the timing of it,” Stefanski said when asked why they signed Rosen in July and not March.

Rosen went 3-10 as the starter in Arizona as a rookie, tossing 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He’s failed to find a permanent NFL home since, with the Browns being his fifth team in four years. There’s a chance he could bump an inexperienced Dobbs to the practice squad and take over the backup spot if Watson is out. However, Dobbs has gone through OTAs and minicamp with the Browns and has the benefit of knowing the system.

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