3 players that must improve for the Cleveland Browns in 2023

The Cleveland Browns made some big moves but these three returning players need to be better in 2023 or things could fall apart

New Orleans Saints v Cleveland Browns
New Orleans Saints v Cleveland Browns / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
3 of 3

1. Deshaun Watson, Quarterback

Looking at the recent Super Bowl winners, one thing stands out — they usually have elite quarterbacks. We can root for a guy such as Jacoby Brissett, but it's hard for a team to win without a star quarterback when going up against Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Aaron Rodgers, and Josh Allen.

What's worse is, all those quarterbacks — and even more such as Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson — are all in the AFC. That being the case, the Browns knew they had to make a huge move to contend. That's why they rolled the dice on Deshaun Watson, knowing full well he would be suspended and they would face severe backlash for the move.

In 2022, Watson ended up serving an 11-game suspension and then closed out the year by playing the final six games. He ended up leading them to a modest 3-3 record and had some mediocre numbers. Watson completed just 58.2 percent of his attempts for 1,102 yards with seven touchdowns and five picks.

Of course, we all know he was knocking the rust off following a 700-day layoff. But, that rust needs to be completely gone in 2023.

We can forgive the issues from the end of 2022 as he was getting back into form. He was learning a new team as well while running an offense that was built around Brissett all season. But now, the excuses are gone and the offense is built for him. If this team is going to finally turn a corner, it's Watson who needs to lead the way.

More Cleveland Browns news and analysis