Browns trust QB Brissett as Watson serves suspension



BEREA, Ohio — As Jacoby Brissett sat at a nearby table patiently awaiting his turn on the podium Friday, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah wrapped up his interview session with heartfelt praise for his veteran teammate.

During chats sitting in front of their side-by-side lockers, Owusu-Koramoah learned about life and football from Brissett.

“He’s the guy we turn to for this wisdom from the elders,” Owusu-Koramoah said. “The shaman.”

The Browns are going to need more than Brissett’s knowledge.

With Deshaun Watson’s suspension now official and set for 11 games, Brissett, who spent his NFL career as a backup quarterback, will try to keep Cleveland’s promising season afloat.

Brissett signed a one-year contract as a free agent with Cleveland in March – a day after the team traded for Watson – knowing there was a good chance he would start the season as a leaving.

However, it wasn’t until Thursday, when W atson agreed to a settlement with the NFL to play 11 games and pay $5 million for sexual misconduct allegations brought against him by two dozen women, that Brissett has since learned. how long.

Whether it’s six games or 17, Brissett has sworn to be ready and now he’s being called upon.

The Browns trust Brissett, who has made 37 career starts with New England (2), Indianapolis (30) and Miami (5), to keep them competitive in the AFC North before Watson is eligible to return. End of november.

It’s a tough task for the 29-year-old, who is only 14-23 as a starter. But his teammates are confident he can handle it, and owner Jimmy Haslam, general manager Andrew Berry and coach Kevin Stefanski all offered their support after Watson’s suspension became known.

“I have to go out there and prove it every day, don’t I?” Brissett said of belief in him. “I’m just excited for the opportunity. I don’t take it lightly.

Watson’s suspension didn’t change Brissett’s approach, and he said he wasn’t concerned about outside talks involving the Browns’ interest in trading for Jimmy Garoppolo or meeting Super Bowl expectations. .

When Garoppolo’s name was mentioned in question, Brissett cracked a smile.

“I don’t care,” he said before the Browns practiced for Day 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles. “Here to do my job, do the best I can, lead, be the same guy, be a good teammate and then everything else will take care of itself.”

Brissett won over his teammates with his consistency, work ethic and engaging personality. He prides himself on being consistent in everything.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper, another of Cleveland’s newcomers, has seen Brissett lead by example.

“We know Jacoby,” Cooper said. “We understand what he brings to the table. We see him training every day, seeing how hard he works, so we believe in him 100%. He wouldn’t come back there if we didn’t.

None of this is new to Brissett.

He made his rookie debut with the Patriots ahead of schedule after Tom Brady was suspended for “Deflategate” in 2016 and Garoppolo was injured. The following season with the Colts, Brissett was thrust into the roster when Andrew Luck suffered a season-ending injury.

And in 2019, he became Indy’s default starter following Luck’s surprising retirement.

“It just gave me experience in those situations,” Brissett said. “That’s been key, and since I came into the league, it’s shown me how fast this league is being next man and being ready whenever your number is called.”

Count Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is one of Brissett’s biggest fans.

Sirianni was Brissett’s offensive coordinator in Indianapolis, where he bonded with the QB, which impacted his entire family.

“He’s the best. My kids still ask, ‘How’s Jacoby?’ My wife always asks about him,” Sirianni said. “He’s just a great leader and a great guy to be around. Such a good teammate.

And, as far as Sirianni is concerned, an underrated player.

Mimicking Brissett dropping to pass, he broke a play in a 2019 game against Denver. Sirianni said that after throwing sack specialist Vonn Miller early in a game-winning drive near his own goal line, Brissett swooped in and fired a 40-yard “tightrope” at receiver TY Hilton.

“I just can’t say enough good things about Jacoby Brissett,” Sirianni said. “I like the man.”

NOTES: All-Pro Myles Garrett returned after missing four days while visiting a sick family member. Garrett did individual work but did not participate in any of the team sessions against the Eagles. … Browns LT Jedrick Wills had a few tough plays in the two-minute drill, getting called for at least two penalties before being taken off. … Stefanski said Josh Dobbs remains ahead of Josh Rosen to be Brissett’s replacement.

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