Head Coach Kevin Stefanski said he is still confident he can become the elite quarterback the team traded for in 2022, the Associated Press reported on Sunday.
“We all know what he’s capable of and we’re excited about the future,” he said a day after Cleveland’s season came to an in a 45-14 loss to the Houston Texans in the wild-card round.
Watson made six starts this season before undergoing shoulder surgery.
“I mean, 4-1 as a starter, some really great moments, that second half vs. Baltimore is something that I don’t know how many people on Earth can do what he did with the injuries that he had in that second half,” Stefanski said, referring to Watson’s comeback win on Nov. 12 against the Ravens. “Very excited for him. He’s excited. I know he wants to get back healthy, and he is well on his way to doing that.”
He added that Watson has made progress and anticipates him to be ready for minicamp, according to the AP.
“I’m confident he’ll be ready to roll this spring,” Stefanski said. “He’s champing at the bit, but he’s doing everything he’s supposed to do when it comes to what the doctors are telling him as he rehabs through this, but he’ll be ready to roll.”
The Browns traded three first-round picks in March 2022 to Houston for Watson and then signed him to a record $230 million fully guaranteed contract.
Cleveland went 11-6 in the regular season, including 4-1 with 38-year-old Joe Flacco as the starting quarterback.