Jacoby Brissett has performed well for the Cleveland Browns through three weeks, so much so that some are pondering if the AFC North contender has a quarterback controversy on their hands.
The Browns are 2-1 with Brissett at the starter and that could easily be 3-0 if not for a defensive meltdown and some bad clock management in Week 2 against the Jets. Brissett’s numbers haven’t been Pro Bowl worthy, but he’s looked sharp as a fill-in for Deshaun Watson, who is serving an 11-game suspension. Brissett has recorded 596 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in three games.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk proposed the idea of the Browns sticking with Brissett for the entire year, rather than inserting Watson later in the season once his ban is over. Most of his theory is based on the assumption that the Browns are doing well and still in the hunt come December. Here’s what Florio had to say:
What’s in the best interests of the team, sticking with the hot hand or inserting a quarterback who will have gone 700 days exactly between regular-season games?
It may not be an issue. The Browns could be 5-6 or worse after eleven games, making the return of Watson a no-brainer. At some point, however, it shouldn’t be automatic that Watson will become the starter, not after missing so much time.
Jacoby Brissett Capitalizing on Opportunity With Browns
Throughout his career, Brissett has served as a backup to some high-profile quarterbacks. But he also came to the table in Cleveland with some starting experience of his own. Prior to this season, he had 37 starts to his name and a record of 14-23 in those contests.
Brissett is 29 years old and understands his opportunities as a starting quarterback in the NFL could be limited going forward. He’s been embracing the chance with the Browns and was emotional at the podium following the team’s Week 1 win.
“Right now, so many thoughts and emotions are going through my head now,” Brissett said. “Leading up to this, these aren’t promised. So whenever you get an opportunity, you cherish those opportunities.”
That being said, Brissett isn’t listening to any outside noise. He’s only concerned about winning games for the Browns.
“I am not in this to answer anybody’s questions. I am in here to play good football, play for my teammates and enjoy this moment,” Brissett said on September 22. “That is really what it is all about. I can look those guys in their faces and tell them I am giving them my best. That is what I look forward to.”
Watson Will be Able to Return to Browns Facilities Next Month
Watson won’t be eligible to return until December 4 for a matchup against his former team, the Houston Texans. However, he’ll be permitted back in the Browns’ facilities on October 10 to participate in limited activities. Watson has been working out away from the team with his personal quarterback coach Quincy Avery.
In the meantime, Brissett will continue to improve as he holds down the fort.
“He was solid. Didn’t start fast. There were a couple of throws I think he want maybe throw/reads or play calls that we did not start fast enough,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said after the win against the Steelers. “That is me. I have to get him going early and get our offense going early so I will take that. Made some throws and made some big throws in big moments. Battled. He is doing a nice job.”
The next test for the Browns and Brissett comes against the Atlanta Falcons on the road.