Deshaun Watson saga: Why the Browns believe they’re in good hands with Jacoby Brissett

What's next for Jacoby Brissett and the Cleveland Browns after Deshaun Watson was suspended six games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy?

BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns camp was decidedly quieter Tuesday than Monday when the NFL announced Deshaun Watson would be suspended six games for sexual misconduct.

The media frenzy hit pause, at least for a day. Watson still has not spoken to reporters since retired federal judge Sue L. Robinson’s 16-page report was released. And the league still has the right to appeal Robinson’s suspension recommendation, which keeps a degree of mystery surrounding just how many games Watson will miss, and how many games backup Jacoby Brissett will start.

Jacoby Brissett confident that Cleveland Browns are in good hands

Brissett did speak with reporters ahead of practice here Tuesday with the same confidence that he’s shown as a backup in New England, Indianapolis, and Miami since entering the league in 2016.

“It’s been my situation throughout my career,” Brissett said. “It’s nothing that I’m unfamiliar with, always being ready to go when my number has been called and that’s the case now.”

The Browns at some point will begin ramping up Brissett’s snaps with the 1s, which is smart. Whatever happens with the NFL’s appeal, Watson will miss the first six weeks of the season. Cleveland’s opponents those weeks? The Panthers, Jets, Steelers, Falcons, Chargers, and Patriots.

When asked by a reporter, mostly in jest, if it would be tough to give up the reins to the team if the Browns start 6-0, Brissett responded:

“We’ll cross that bridge when we cross that bridge.”

A 6-0 start would easily be the best stretch of Brissett’s career. He’s 14-23 as a starter.

When asked why he will have more success this time around, Brissett responde: “Because I know myself. I know what I prepare for. I know what I go through in preparation to get ready for a game. I know my mindset. I’m excited. It’s another opportunity and I’m looking forward to it.”

Browns confident in Brissett

On Monday, after the suspension was announced, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said that the Browns still need to get ready for Watson to start games while at the same time allow Brissett to get into a rhythm with the first-team offense.

It’s a challenge, of course, but not one that the Browns didn’t envision. They signed Brissett in the offseason because they believed he could handle this very scenario.

“Jacoby is a pro,” said Browns linebacker Anthony Walker Jr., who was also Brissett’s teammate in Indianapolis. “He’s prepared, is going to prepare every day like he’s a starter whether he is the starter or he’s the backup. And he’s always prepared to go. He’s always ready so he doesn’t have to get ready.”

When asked about that support, Brissett said: “It’s exciting. It feels good that you have that trust amongst the organization. And like I said, I’m excited for the opportunity. [I’m] extremely confident in myself and my abilities so like I said, we’re a long way from Week 1, so just continue to get better.”

Brissett in six NFL seasons has completed 60.2% of his passes for 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions.

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