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Kevin Stefanski Reacts To Deshaun Watson's Browns Debut

Kevin Stefanski on the sideline.

FOXBOROUGH, MA - NOVEMBER 14: Head Coach Kevin Stefanski of the Cleveland Browns reacts against the New England Patriots during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

For the first time since the 2020 season, Deshaun Watson actually took some snaps in an NFL game on Friday night. 

Watson's preseason debut with the Cleveland Browns was disappointing to say the least. He completed just one of his five pass attempts for seven yards. 

Following the Browns' preseason opener, head coach Kevin Stefanski shared his assessment of Watson's performance. He tried to put a positive spin on the Pro Bowl quarterback's outing. 

“I think he probably wants some throws back,” Stefanski said, via ProFootballTalk. “Obviously, playing football for the first time in a while, I thought it was important to get out there with his teammates in this scheme, just hearing a different voice in the helmet, those type of things. I’m sure he had the butterflies and the jitters early. But I think he understands there’s work to do.”

When asked if Watson's off-field situation affected his performance on Friday night, Stefanski downplayed that narrative. 

“They had a bunch of players that they don’t play either,” he responded. “So I don’t look too much into that. It’s just — you know, it’s our first game out there. And I think you could tell. You know, I think Jacksonville had one game into it. So for us, just to knock some rust off and then get back to work.”

Watson received a six-game suspension in regards to sexual misconduct allegations. The NFL, however, has decided to appeal that decision. 

Though nothing is official yet, the belief is that Watson will receive a lengthier suspension for the regular season.