'I feel really good': Here's what Deshaun Watson's progress looks like entering offseason workouts (2024)

BEREA, Ohio — The Browns are back in Berea for voluntary offseason workouts, and while most of the work for the players will be in the classroom, with some in the weight room as well, for quarterback Deshaun Watson, this is the continuation of his shoulder rehab.

Earlier this month, at the opening of a University Heights restaurant he backs, Watson shared that he was feeling good and taking his time with rehabbing while assuring he'll be ready to go in Week 1.

‘We'll be ready Week 1’: QB Deshaun Watson feeling good after shoulder surgery

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"It's very, very good. The process is day-to-day and we just got to take it one step at a time. We can't do anything too crazy. We can't jump the gun and try to do too much. The biggest thing right now through this process is load management and just continue to find ways to just get better and just stay on that course," Watson said on April 4. "We'll be ready Week 1."

But now that workouts in Berea have begun, what does Watson's progress look like?

First, it's important to note that Watson and Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski made it clear that rushing the quarterback through rehab is the last thing they want to do.

"They have a very, very good plan. Deshaun, the medical team, of ramping him up and throwing. He’s doing all the things he’s supposed to be doing when it comes to rehab. So, when we get to those points in OTAs and minicamp, we’ll go with what’s suggested by the medical team, but he’s doing a great job," Stefanski said Tuesday. "We’re putting the system together, we’re full speed ahead and in these meeting rooms, and when we get out on that practice field, we’re constantly trying to get better as an offense, but we’re not going to speed Deshaun up just to get the offense sped up.”

Watson said doctors have told him exactly that—don't speed up the process, even though he said he feels good.

“I feel really good. Very confident in myself in the process that’s going. My shoulder’s been really well, so just making sure that I don’t do anything extra that’s going to harm it or anything like that. So I think that’s the biggest thing— that’s exactly what Dr. [Neal] ElAttrache and the guys told me is don’t try to do anything extra and rush back," Watson said. "So just follow the script and the plan, and you’ll be exactly where you want to be, even better than before.”

That script is specially designed for Watson and the shoulder injury he sustained, which he had to have surgery on last season. Watsonsuffered a displaced fracture to the glenoid, where the shoulder connects to the arm, after already having sustained minor tearing of the ligaments there. It's an injury more commonly seen in baseball and tennis.

So, when it comes to his rehab, Watson is deferring to experts. While rehabbing in Los Angeles this offseason, Watson met with several staff members, players, and athletes in those various sports, working with and learning from them. The biggest takeaway for him was the lesson of easing back into work.

"It was a joint, the glenoid labrum. So [the doctor] wants to really make sure that we’re not doing too much. And other experts that was a part of it said the same thing. This is an injury that for spring you want to be a little bit more conservative and then this summer and get ready for training camp, that’s when there’s gonna be a time where we can pick that up. So I think it can go either way for that in the next couple of weeks.”

Watson has already ramped some things up. He started throwing again last month and said on Tuesday that he has been able to get off some deep passes and high-velocity throws.

"I’m throwing full speed. Everything is fluid motion. No hinging, and when I say hinging, my release point when I’m throwing it and things like that, everything is fluid and motion is really good. The velocity and the strength is really good. So it’s been well," Watson said.

So, what does that mean for these early offseason workouts? Well, it's not definitive just yet. There is a concerted effort to gradually work Watson back into the mix and ramp him up to be ready and 100% for Week 1. He plans to be able to participate in OTAs and practices this spring and summer. Playing in the preseason hasn't even come up yet.

The Browns have recently added quarterback Jameis Winston to fall back on during days that Watson is unavailable to throw this offseason. They also have Dorian Thompson-Robinson behind him and Tyler Huntley as a camp arm.

Watson is getting in plenty of work for now, both in his rehab and workouts and in the classroom—learning the new playbook constructed by Stefanski and new offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey.

And while he and the team are confident in the physical work Watson is doing, the classroom is where there are no limitations for the quarterback and can be just as key in ensuring he has a complete and successful 2024 season.

"I think the mental side of the game is very important, especially with a new OC. Certain things are going to carry over, but it’s going to be a lot of new things. And we got to know how he communicates his offense....the way that him and Kevin are communicating, so we all can be on the same page. It’s a lot of different, new moving parts, especially throughout the position groups—the offensive line, who’s very familiar with the past of what they’ve been coached on, and then you have the receivers and running backs," Watson said. "As an offense it’s been great, but we’ve seen it on the defensive side last year that when we brought in the new DC [Jim Schwartz], how everything kind of meshed together, and if we can put the time in like they did last year, I think we can do the same thing and take a huge leap.”

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'I feel really good': Here's what Deshaun Watson's progress looks like entering offseason workouts (2024)


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