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Browns coach Kevin Stefanski: 'I want the best version of Deshaun Watson' entering 2024

The Browns are counting on quarterback Deshaun Watson to bounce back in his third year in Cleveland.

Watson's 2023 season only saw him play in six games due to a shoulder injury. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said this week on The Rich Eisen Show that he believes Watson could return to Pro Bowl form in 2024.

"We always talk about how we want the best version of ourselves. I want the best version of Deshaun," Stefanski told Eisen. "He is constantly getting better. I see so many of the veterans, Rich as you know, every single year you challenge them to get better. Even the guys who are at the height of their craft. Look at Myles Garrett, who is coming off being Defensive Player of the Year. He will be challenged by both of us, and I know he does this to himself, he needs to get better and there are things he can do to get better.

"I know Deshaun is in the same boat, he wants to be better, he wants to play better, every single game, every single year. ... I'm excited for where he is right this minute with plenty of work to do. I know he's going to continue to get better and get healthy. But I'm excited about Deshaun."

Watson started the first three games of the season before suffering a shoulder injury against the Titans in Week 3. He missed the following two games before returning in Week 7. However, things took a turn in Week 10 against Baltimore for Watson, as it was later revealed the 28-year-old QB suffered a displaced fracture in his right glenoid.

Through his two seasons in Cleveland, Watson has played in 12 games. He was suspended 11 games during the 2022 season for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy.

The expectations for Watson are not only expected from his head coach but also from general manager Andrew Berry. In May, Berry said Cleveland has "high expectations" for Watson and the offense heading into this season after the club made the postseason last year with Joe Flacco. With Flacco now gone and Jameis Winston in the picture, Watson heads into minicamp and training camp as QB1.

Just like about every head coach, the offseason provides plenty of optimism for the season ahead, but Stefanksi thinks Watson's play can take a step forward in 2024. Cleveland's mandatory minicamp is set to begin on June 11.

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