With Deshaun Watson’s 11-game suspension official, the Cleveland Browns are setting forth toward the regular season with veteran Jacoby Brissett in line to start the bulk of the campaign.
“I just have to be myself,” Brissett said on Friday, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “I don’t really kinda try and do anything more or less. More so, I just try and be myself.”
As the Browns’ Week 1 starter, Brissett didn’t play in the first preseason game, and head coach Kevin Stefanski is sticking with the plan not to play Brissett in Sunday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Brissett has taken most of the No. 1 QB reps this week in practice.
“I think we have a plan and we’re going along with the plan, and I’m continuing to get more and more comfortable with the offense,” Brissett said. “I haven’t played in a game yet, so I think when that time comes it will come and I’ve got to use, which I do, I use these practices, these days as my game. I go out there with the mindset that it is a game I think I’m playing every day.”
The current plan calls for Brissett to get reps in the Browns’ preseason finale against Chicago, per the Beacon Journal.
A third-round pick by New England in 2016, Brissett is used to getting thrust into duty. He started two games as a rookie following Tom Brady’s suspension and a Jimmy Garoppolo injury. In 2017, he was traded right before the season to Indianapolis, where he made 15 starts. After backing up Andrew Luck in 2018, he was again called upon to start when Luck abruptly retired before the 2019 season. Last year, Brissett started five games in Miami.
Brissett’s experience makes him confident he can start the season in a new offense without a ton of preseason reps.
“I think every day we go out there I’ve grown more and more comfortable,” Brissett said. “Obviously, I didn’t play in the game but just seeing how the game was called, and just talking to the guys on the sideline and stuff like you kind of grow more in confidence in what we’re doing. So I’m just looking for that to continue to build.”
With the Browns currently eschewing the idea of bringing in another vet like Garoppolo, it’s Brissett’s ship to pilot to open the season. Josh Dobbs remains the projected backup, with Josh Rosen also on the roster at the moment.