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QB Deshaun Watson


Deshaun, can you talk a little bit about just the bounce back that you guys had? The news you got Monday night with Nick Chubb being injured and then coming back and having a bounce back game. Kevin Stefanski said earlier today that he knew Tuesday you guys were going to have a bounce back game. What was it about Tuesday that led to the to have the performance you had today?

"It was the energy of the team. The team that came in Tuesday, the team that came in Wednesday, when we came to that team meeting, there were no sad faces, there were no complaints, no excuses. Everyone wanted to bounce back and everyone wanted to respond. We knew that it was a long season and this was our opportunity. So, it was a shorter week for us game plan-wise. And once we came in on Tuesday and Wednesday, we were locked in on the game plan and went out there and practiced and started training hard. So that was the biggest thing. And then Chubb was around this week too, so a lot of guys seen him in a training room and there was of course, a little sadness and disappointment on his face, but at the same time you know, he looked every single one of us in our eyes. And yesterday I actually saw him and he told me, go get it because I need it. And not just for himself, but just for this team, this organization. So, there was no doubt in mind that were going to come out here and play good."

This would be your second-best completion rate game of your career. What did you have working today and how can you carry that over going forward?

"Just responding, just being able to take what the defense gives us. Don't try to do too much. And last week, we didn't start off well. So of course, trying to press on and get that seven points back early on was not what we wanted to do. But we came in this week and we just took it one play at a time and whatever I can do to get completions. And the completions are really good for not just myself, but for the O line, for the receivers, and for Kevin (Stefanski) calling plays. So just trying to do that and just keep building on and learning from this tape."

How about, after the week that you've had with just taking so much heat and so much criticism, you did say that you do hear it and see it. Was it kind of nice to come out and have this kind of sort of a rebound game and get the victory?

"I mean, of course. Like I said before, it comes with the territory, but to much is given, much is required. And I've always lived by that on and off the field. And being able to come out here, I knew the fans were going to come and support us. That's what the Cleveland Browns are. All the stuff that's online and outside noise, that stuff is minimal compared to what is really the foundation of this organization, for this city, for this town, especially for this team. And it comes with it. Every week is different. It's ups and downs and flows of this business, and that's the NFL. And we just got to ride with it and take it as it comes. So I can make sure I can't be down too low and I can't be too high after this game. I got to be balanced and I got to watch the tape. And once we come in tomorrow, we flush this W and we got to get ready for Baltimore."

Deshaun, Kevin and some of the guys were talking about the toughness that you showed, especially after that shot to the neck. Did you think you were going to have to miss any time when you went to the sideline after that one?

"I didn't even know I had to come off the field until the trainer told me. I was just going to get up. He caught me in the neck and I just kind of lost my breath a little bit. So, I was just kind of sitting there, but I was just mad because we missed the throw. I thought I missed the throw, but I didn't realize it was a PI, too. So, I was really kind of mad at myself that I overthrew him. But when I talked to Coop (Amari Cooper) and saw the replay, he said, no, I was perfect. He just got a DPI. So that's why I was kind of upset."

How about the connection with you and Amari (Cooper) today. If you added those PI's, you'd have like 200 yards.

"Yeah. I mean, Amari is doing a heck of a job of just communicating. I think the biggest thing is just communicating. Sometimes if I don't see a certain route or see a certain guy, how he's playing, he's coming to the sideline. And I think you've seen it today. He sat beside me, and he was just talking to me, 'Hey, look, this is what I'm seeing. This is what they're doing.' And I just trust him. He's a veteran guy, he's been around for a while. So I just got to put the ball placement in a place where he can make that play. And he's been doing a heck of a job doing."

Is this a testament to the fact that this is a whole entirely new offense? You've been trying to getting know each other and that it's a work in progress and we think it'll probably get better week by week, right?

"Yeah, it's a work in progress throughout the whole season. And we're not the only ones that are dealing with it. Every team is dealing with it. Some teams are hitting at the right time and some teams are still building on. But for us, as the Cleveland Browns, yeah, we're just working through it and we're finding our stride and we got to keep doing it. We have to make adjustments because we lost a great player last week and have a lot of shoes to fill. But at the same time, we just got to keep rolling and keep going. Each week is going to be a different game plan because it's a different scheme and a different way. They're going to try to challenge us."

Deshaun, talk about shoes to fill, what did you think of Jerome Ford's performance today? And seeing this young kid really blossom in the role that he's in now for Nick (Chubb) being out, especially last year learning from Nick and Kareem (Hunt).

"Yeah, it's amazing. And I think Kareem, his addition is even helping for Jerome. Last year, he was the third guy behind Kareem and Chubb. Now he's that first one. Was two and then got big shoes to fill. But I think Stump (Mitchell), and Kareem are able to talk to him every time he comes to the sideline. Kareem is just telling him, 'Hey, your chances are coming. Take advantage of it.' And just having that energy and everyone just sees him blossom because he's very quiet. So, you don't really know what he's thinking or what's going on, but he works hard and he works hard on his craft and he wants to be great. So, it's exciting to see that."

Deshaun, how is it to see Myles Garrett out there dominating, getting three and a half sacks and strips, and how much does that carry over to you when you get off?

"We feed off the defense. We feed off the defense, we feed off the special teams, and when Myles does that, he's the best player in the world. And we believe that and we know that. We see it every day in practice, and we see it every day on Sunday. So, same thing with Myles. Same thing. He wanted to respond and show the world that he's the best guy in the world at that position. So, it was awesome to see that and it was a lot of excitement."

Back to what Nick (Chubb) told you, how did you personally use it as motivation for this game?

"You just feel that energy. I mean, he just looked me dead in my eyes and just, yeah, I need it and go get it. And it was no smile, no joking. It was a serious face because you can tell the depression, you can tell the sadness. He's got a long road ahead of him, but he's going to come back stronger. But at the same time, he knows that it's in me, it's in us. And as the leader of the team and as the leader of the offense, I got to take charge of that and I got to fill some of those holes and voids with his position it comes with. So, it was good to hear it."

The chest bump with Kevin (Stefanski) after the long deep shot to Amari (Cooper), was that just the play call?

"I mean, it was the play call, but Kevin was excited and I thought he was going to jump with me, but he said that his achilles and knees are not where they're supposed to be. And I was telling him I thought he played safety in college, so I thought he had some ups [joking]. It was awesome. I kind of jumped up and I looked at him. He just stood there, so I just kind of controlled myself. But it was good to see that Coop made a good decision on that play in that route. My job is never overthrow a ball like that. Give him a chance. And that's what I want to make sure to do and capitalize."

What happened on the spin throw behind to Elijah (Moore)?

"Yeah, it was actually a play that we worked on. Just try to get the defense to go to one side and D-lineman try to break off and then at the last second, pitch it back. It just didn't go our way."

Did you feel calmer in this game than Monday?

"Yeah, I think the biggest thing for me personally was just I control my emotions and Monday was a very emotional game. It was a very hostile environment. We don't like each other, Pittsburgh versus Cleveland. And I think with this game, of course they were talking over there on, you know Tennessee. I just let everything just come to me. Don't try to press the issue, don't try to force the issue. Just control my emotions, my energy, and really just channel that. Just cherish each and every moment, cherish each and every play and just have fun doing it. This game is so hard. It's a blessing to be in the shoes that I'm in. It's a blessing to be on that field. So enjoy the moment, don't get caught up in all the extra stuff and just go out there, have fun and execute."

Deshaun, you guys were having fun early on. You guys went kind of deep in the playbook on that first drive. Kevin (Stefanski) said it was about getting some perimeter plays. Did that help you kind of settle in?

"Most definitely. I think it helped me. I think it helped the whole offense, just to be able to get guys running around, get guys a feel of the game. You got to give them credit. They got a really good defense, they have a really great front, so we got to make sure we control that and move them side to side, getting them running and show them different looks at the same time before we actually show what we really want to do."

Deshaun, what changed from the first half to the second half for you?

"No, I wasn't pressing anything. I was just taking completions, getting the ball to the playmakers and letting them operate."

Does it get much better, more exciting for you to have the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson coming into town on the Lakefront on Sunday?

"It's very big. I mean, it's a divisional. A very great team and they got some great players, great staff, and they're going to come ready to play. So we got to make sure we're locked in and ready for that opportunity and that challenge."

Kevin said that he knew early in the week that you guys are going to bounce back from everything that happened Monday, including Nick (Chubb). Did you get that sense or did it take a while for you to feel truly like you guys are going to be ready?

"No. There was a question earlier, you know, I'm pretty much going to say that. On Tuesday and Wednesday we knew. We knew that were going to respond. No one came in with sad faces. No one came in moping, making excuses, pointing the finger. We all accepted the loss on Monday. We knew that we, offensively especially, but as a team, we knew that we made some mistakes. But at the same know, that's part of the NFL. It's part of what you're going to do. You can't make excuses. You got to respond. And the whole week, each and every day, we took one day at a time. We knew it was a short week with the game plan and we responded. And that's our mentality. That's our team. We got to be resilient and then we got to put each other first and we got to take care of each other. And we came together as a team today."

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