Browns Questions and Answers: How much of a difference will Deshaun Watson make?

Deshaun Watson, Browns. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]
Deshaun Watson, Browns. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union] /

As the Browns sit at a disappointing 2-5 record, they face the hardest remaining schedule in the league and questions are beginning to float. In this Q&A with Noah, I answer a few of the most pressing questions around the team. 

The Cleveland Browns sit at 2-5, as they return home in Week 8 to take on the red-hot Cincinnati Bengals on Halloween night.

Let’s take a look at some of your questions that can be sent to @BrownsWithNoah on Instagram and Twitter.

How much better is Deshaun Watson going to make the Browns this season? Kdef, Cleveland OH

Once Deshaun Watson is back for his first game ironically against the Houston Texans, the vibe around the team will be drastically different. Even if the Browns’ record is well below .500, there will still be a sense of life when the team gets their franchise quarterback back on the field. Ideally, the Browns would’ve liked to be in a position to welcome Watson back on the field with a chance for him to knock the rust off and compete for a playoff spot in the AFC.

However, it doesn’t look too promising for a Browns team who haven’t had all three aspects of the game come together at the same time (offense, defense and special teams). While there’s still time for the organization to turn it around this season, it will certainly be difficult for Jacoby Brissett and the Browns to do so given they have one of the hardest schedules in the league remaining.

Even if Cleveland isn’t in a position to compete for a playoff spot when Watson returns in Week 13, it will be nice for the front office and key players to see him shake off the rust and give the team some optimism heading into 2023. The short answer is Watson won’t make the Browns a playoff-caliber team right away,  but he should improve the more reps he has during in-game action.

What’s the biggest problem with the Browns right now in your opinion? Jimmy Carter, Strongsville OH

The one obvious problem is the most glaring and that’s the defense. Coming into this season, it was expected by many that Cleveland’s defense had the star power to be able to carry the load of the team until Watson returned later in the season. However, this isn’t the case as the defense ranks significantly lower in ratings than the offense.

It seems as if the defense has several talented players on the field at the same time, except the players don’t seem like they’re able to play as a unit. The soft coverage definitely turns heads, including my own, when you have several capable cornerbacks who are proven to be good NFL players.

It seems easy enough for me to say, but pressing corners in man coverage and sending pressure against opposing quarterbacks would work well for this defense to create turnovers instead of sitting back in coverage.

My guess is that in one game, we’ll see a dominant game from the defense and that will be the beginning of a great defense in Cleveland. However, there is no telling when that game will come, if ever.

Why have the Browns not given Josh Dobbs a start yet? Ayden Gregory, Louisville KY

The Browns have not given Josh Dobbs a start to this point due to their confidence in Jacoby Brissett. This front office has high hopes for Brissett and believes that he can still hold down the fort until Watson returns.

Last offseason, the Browns identified a quarterback in free agency who they should go after, who’s also capable of playing a good chunk of games given Watson would miss some of the seasons. The team was not expecting Watson to be out for 11-games but that did not change their confidence in Brissett’s ability to lead a team. Dobbs was signed to be a backup and won’t be starting for the Browns barring injury.

The coaching staff is comfortable with both quarterbacks, and Brissett has been pretty solid for the Browns thus far. Yes, he has certainly made some questionable decisions with the football but he has gained the respect of the locker room and the players have his back and respect his game.