BEREA, Ohio — The Browns have an early bye week, solely having performed 4 video games earlier than getting their week off to reset, relaxation, heal, and most significantly, consider themselves heading into the remainder of their season. Normal Supervisor Andrew Berry held his Bye Week press convention on Wednesday, and the session that ran near an hour was filled with details about the state of the group.
This is a breakdown of the Browns on the bye throughout Berry’s media availability.
Deshaun Watson’s shoulder
The speak of the city is quarterback Deshaun Watson’s shoulder damage that noticed him restricted in follow all week, listed as questionable earlier than the sport, and sidelined after a fast warmup Sunday in opposition to the Ravens. All week lengthy there was optimism and confidence that Watson would play. However when he was inactive on Sunday and rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson received the beginning, it took many abruptly.
RELATED: Why Browns QB Deshaun Watson not taking part in in opposition to Ravens was so stunning
Head coach Kevin Stefanski stated the day after the sport that Watson was medically cleared and his shoulder was structurally nice. He additionally stated it wasn’t ache that was limiting Watson.
“He’s performed via critical ache earlier than, very, very critical accidents. It wasn’t a matter of ache tolerance or something. He simply didn’t really feel like he had his full schools,” Stefanski stated.
On Wednesday in Berea, Berry reiterated that, however cooled the talks of it being a complete shock.
“I feel Deshaun, like I stated, he was actually doing every part in his energy to play. We have been all optimistic as a result of he made a ton of progress all through the week going from actually not having the ability to increase his arm to the place he was on Sunday and he’s tremendous aggressive. It is a man who bussed 12 hours so he might play with a punctured lung as a beginning quarterback. So there is not any doubt when it comes to his resolve or his toughness or his need to be on the sector together with his teammates,” Berry stated.
Berry stated that throughout the warm-ups Sunday morning it “grew to become apparent to all of us that he could not throw or drive the ball properly sufficient to carry out within the recreation.” The overall supervisor stated that it was a “very straightforward choice” to not put Watson on the market, and whereas the choice was Watson’s to make about his talents, the group was behind it as properly.
On Wednesday, Berry additionally stated the group would not view Watson’s shoulder as a long-term challenge and that it’s going to “heal within the quick time period and he’ll be able to go.” With Watson again in Houston for the bye week, Berry stated the quarterback is rehabbing and resting as he works to be able to tackle the San Francisco 49ers in Week 6.
Trades coming? Contract talks?
Ron Schwane/AP (AP Photograph/Ron Schwane)
Berry is not one to speak particulars about roster strikes or contract negotiations. He declined to speak about extensions for guys like Grant Delpit, who’s having a powerful season however did reward his efforts.
When it comes to operating again Nick Chubb—who’s getting into the final 12 months of his contract whereas additionally now confronted with an extended rehab for an MCL surgical procedure and upcoming ACL surgical procedure—Berry stated his contract will not be the place their focus is.
“Our focus with Nick is guaranteeing that we’re supporting him and enabling him to be as wholesome as attainable on this early rehab interval. We would like him to get off to begin so he will be the Nick Chubb that we’re accustomed to seeing when he will get over this. I am not going to wager in opposition to Nick Chubb. When it comes to all the opposite stuff. Actually, our give attention to the season and ensuring that he is wholesome, there will be loads of time to determine that stuff out and speak about that stuff, however that is actually not the main target proper now,” Berry stated.
In relation to bringing in additional expertise, maybe to offset the lack of gamers like Chubb, Berry performed it near the vest, as he all the time does.
The Browns entrance workplace may be very adamant about being aggressive on the commerce deadline, which comes on the finish of the month, but in addition exploring each avenue and window to make the group higher—via trades and free agent signings.
Berry shared how the entrance workplace navigates the commerce market.
“We now have a weekly commerce assembly inside our entrance workplace group. We undergo totally different concepts, undergo totally different conditions for alternatives which will or might not current itself. Actually, that is what prompted the commerce for Pierre earlier within the season, Dustin, issues like that. So once I say that we’re all the time canvassing and pondering via the commerce market, it truly is true. However when it comes to perhaps the way you develop into a bit of bit extra focused or the place these calls go or how aggressively you pursue, typically there’s a little bit of a timing factor,” Berry stated.
David Deger Browns DE Myles Garrett celebrates after sacking Bengals QB Joe Burrow.
It is no secret the strongest a part of the Browns 4 weeks into the season is the protection. Over the primary three video games, the Browns’ protection ranked prime within the NFL. From passing yards allowed to dashing yards allowed, factors allowed, and total effectiveness, the unit stood out as elite.
Even in opposition to the Ravens the place the Browns gave up 28 factors, equal to the factors they’d given up via the primary three video games mixed, the protection moved via some early struggles and adjusted on the half.
From Myles Garrett’s 5.5 sacks via 4 video games, to the 5 tackles for loss from Ogbo Okoronkwo and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, to Grant Delpit’s interception and Denzel Ward and MJ Emerson with 5 and three passes defended, respectively—the Browns complete defensive unit has been a drive.
The brand new mindset embraced by the protection is aided by some modifications the Browns made this offseason— bringing in some new expertise and hiring defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz,
Berry raved in regards to the influence Schwartz has had on the unit early into the season.
“I feel that his method of aggressiveness, disruption, producing each play, and fairly truthfully dictating to the offense, is superior. It is refreshing and it is type of soccer that our guys actually embrace and doubtless simply as importantly have enjoyable taking part in in,” Berry stated. “The opposite factor about Jim is he embraces persona. I feel we see that on a weekly foundation as a result of our protection might have at least 100 choreographed celebrations. I do not even know the place they give you it, so I feel that is actually cool as a result of that is one thing he desires guys to play with ardour and be themselves, and I feel that that is one thing that basically endears him to the fellows fairly frankly.”
The fellows celebrating definitely have a hand within the success of the protection, and whereas Garrett has all the time made an influence for the Browns, having some new faces alongside the road and within the secondary has made it that rather more explosive this 12 months.
Berry praised the secondary on their talents to play string in man protection and their bodily nature that pairs properly with the flexibility all through the roster. Particularly, although, Berry talked about Okoronkwo and Za’Darius Smith, who he referred to as “energizer bunnies” for the protection.
“Z and Ogbo, they’re superior. They’re like energizer bunnies every day. They love taking part in, they love training. They each work extremely onerous. They love taking part in within the scheme as a result of they get to pin their ears again and go. I feel it has been fairly neat to see the synergy not simply between these two, however that entire line of defense group. Z offers us a ton of flexibility together with his skill to hurry inside and out of doors. Ogbo offers us flexibility as a result of he can rush on the sting, he can come from a two-point stance. They usually’re a bit of bit like thunder and lightning. Z’s actually extra of an influence rusher and Ogbo can actually win with velocity. In order that they’ve actually added lots upfront to us,” Berry stated.
The nice and unhealthy of the offensive line
Throughout his media availability, Berry mentioned the offensive line—a unit as soon as considered the power of the group. Whereas there’s loads of expertise alongside the road, this season has seen its fair proportion of struggles.
Berry did notice that offensively the group has had a curler coaster of a season. However when it comes to safety on the road, would not put the blame squarely on the tackles or anybody on the road—noting it is a group effort.
“I feel that simply total the offense has been a bit up and down. I feel when you concentrate on safety, it isn’t simply the offensive line, it is actually all people. It is the quarterbacks depth, it is the route mixture, it is the backs, it is the tight ends. And that is one thing that amongst a number of different issues that we’ve not been as per,” Berry stated.
Nonetheless, the Browns did see some modifications to the road this 12 months. Proper sort out Jack Conklin was misplaced for the season after sustaining a knee damage within the first week. That moved fourth-round draft decide rookie Dawand Jones right into a beginning position. The 6’8″, 374-pound lineman had a giant activity thrown on his plate—one which Berry commends him for embracing so properly.
“Dawand has taken benefit of each useful resource that we have had throughout the group and I feel notably for that younger man, the best way he got here into the group with plenty of the, what I’d say, nameless criticism, sort of attacking his work ethic, his character, issues like that—he actually has been unbelievable. He is carried out a extremely, very nice job for us and he must be counseled for coming in and being ready when his quantity was referred to as a lot sooner than any of us anticipated,” Berry stated.
In the meantime, on the opposite aspect of the offensive line, fourth-year left sort out Jedrick Wills Jr. has not had fairly the identical expertise. Wills has struggled this season., permitting two sacks and 18 pressures.
Berry addressed Wills’ struggles, assured that because the season goes on, the left sort out will enhance.
“I feel Jed could be the primary to inform you that he hasn’t performed as constantly as he is aware of he is able to taking part in and he is able to taking part in higher, he’ll play higher. He is clearly going to be an vital piece for us shifting ahead,” Berry stated.
QBs and their weapons
Sue Ogrocki/AP Cleveland Browns quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson passes throughout the second half of a preseason NFL soccer recreation in opposition to the Washington Commanders on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photograph/Sue Ogrocki)
On a broader scale, the Browns’ complete offense has had its ups and downs via the primary 4 video games of the season. Week 1 was hampered by an odd misty drizzle that modified how each the Browns and Bengals’ offenses might function. Week 2 in Pittsburgh, Watson had a horrible recreation and made quite a few unhealthy selections. In week 3 in opposition to the Titans, Watson bounced again and confirmed how explosive he will be in a recreation that impressed. Week 4, Watson’s damage noticed Thompson-Robinson get his first NFL begin—which didn’t go how anybody had hoped.
In relation to Thompson-Robinson, Berry remained assured in his skill to develop and develop. He stated that he would not anticipate main modifications within the QB room, solidifying Thompson-Robinson because the No. 2 backup regardless of the rocky begin.
Berry stated the group remains to be assured within the room, even after buying and selling veteran Joshua Dobbs to the Cardinals earlier than the season began. That call, Berry stated, made sense for the group, and whereas Thompson-Robinson remains to be studying, that is all lesson for the younger quarterback.
“There’s a saying that I like: ‘Expertise is a tough trainer as a result of it offers the check first and the lesson afterward,’ and I felt like definitely, any rookie quarterback might most likely attest throughout their first begin that that’s the case. Actually difficult circumstances, however I do know Dorian’s not making any excuses for it,” Berry stated. “All of us have a look at what we might have carried out in a different way to assist him, however we’ll proceed to work, we’ll develop from it, we’ll study from it and we’ll transfer ahead with them.”
Outdoors of the quarterback place, Berry addressed a variety of subjects, like the usage of broad receiver Elijah Moore, who he referred to as one of many “higher playmakers on the roster.” From adjusting the offense because the season goes on to permit the offense to play to the strengths of every particular person, there’s lots the Browns are throughout the bye week.
The Browns hope to seek out Moore’s “area of interest” throughout the offense. They anticipate to see a lift in huge performs from operating again Jerome Ford and a rise in manufacturing from Kareem Hunt as he adjusts to being again in NFL motion.
However in addition they hope that the offense comes collectively to be more practical and constant on a weekly foundation.
That comes right down to rolling with punches and permitting the offense to click on.
Berry talked about a number of the adversities the Browns have confronted however famous that that is one thing they hope to be higher for in the long term. That enchancment begins this week.
“Offensively, we’re actually trying ahead to utilizing this bye week to actually return to the extent of consistency and the usual that Kevin has actually set there on that aspect of the ball since he is been right here in 2020. And little question with having Deshaun for a full season, shedding Nick, shedding Jack Conklin, that it will look totally different than we have been accustomed to seeing over the primary three years. However now we have little question that not solely we’ll be capable of meet however sort of exceed the usual that we have seen the primary three years that Kevin has been the top coach right here,” Berry stated.
With the protection rolling, and the particular groups unit giving sturdy efforts (particularly kicker Dustin Hopkins who’s 8-for-9 in his area aim makes an attempt with three over 50 yards), the Browns have one main focus for the offense to get the group taking part in complementary soccer all through the remainder of the season:
Taking good care of the ball.
Offensively, the Browns are targeted on the bye week on stopping interceptions and fumbles, not turning the ball over and maximizing time of possession. By way of the primary 4 video games, the Browns have given the ball away 10 instances and are -7 within the turnover margin.
Stefanski has stated that taking good care of the ball is of utmost significance for the offense. Berry could not have agreed extra.
“Primary via 5 could be ball safety. That’s the primary factor that now we have to appropriate. The first focus, once more, now we have 10 turnovers in 4 video games, we put 5 extra balls on the bottom that weren’t coated, recovered by the opponent that alone, and that does not imply that we’re good in each space, no totally different than any group at this level within the season, however that alone, minimizing that or getting that again to a suitable normal will make an enormous distinction,” Berry stated.
The Browns are 2-2 on the season. On the bye week, there’s not a big pattern measurement for the group to research. That is one of many downsides of an early bye.
“From an information perspective in your teaching employees, the situational samples, the tendency stuff, it is actually noisy simply since you’re coping with such a small variety of performs whenever you simply sort of slice it up. So youhave to watch out and doubtless take a number of the gadgets with a bit of little bit of a grain of salt. Normally, whenever you get center of the 12 months or later within the 12 months, you could have simply sort of this good sturdy set of performs or conditions the place you may actually analyze it and get one thing a bit extra prescriptive. In order that nuance is a bit of bit more difficult,” Berry shared.
However with the accidents the group has handled and the early ups and downs, this is likely to be the right time for per week off.
The Browns will get pleasure from this week off whereas persevering with to judge the various subjects and areas Berry addressed on Wednesday.
Then, it is again to Berea for preparations because the 49ers head to Cleveland in what might be one of many Browns’ greatest challenges of the season. However till then, it is about relaxation and leisure throughout this very early bye week.