As the 2023 season approaches, the Browns are looking to implement a revamped offense — one that will bring more out of QB Deshaun Watson while also allowing RB Nick Chubb to continue finding plenty of success in the run game.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski shared some of the knowledge behind the basis of the playbook Sunday at The Greenbrier, explaining how Watson adds his input into the process.
"When we design everything, it's always making sure it fits Deshaun's eyes," Stefanski said. "Maybe it's a concept he's done over the years. Maybe it's a concept we both saw that we're going to try it out.
"That's really what the spring is for. That's what, as we get going here into our installs, seeing what fits him, seeing what fits our entire offense, what fits Nick (Chubb), what fits the line, what fits our pass catchers. That's kind of the work that we're doing right now."
Check out photos of the team conducting a field workout at the Greenbrier
This is Watson's first full offseason with the team, which has allowed him to feel extra comfort learning the offense while also taking a higher leadership position around the team.
"Personally, I'm in a different space," Watson said. "I feel really well, feel really good, comfortable being around the guys, the locker room, the coaching staff, the organization, and just the city of Cleveland. So having an opportunity to go into the season, full offseason locked in and focused definitely feels good and I want to continue to keep channeling and cherishing all that energy."
Despite potential changes to the offense, Chubb, who ran for 1,525 yards last season, will still be a focal point, and Stefanski made sure to emphasize that as he discussed how the playbook creation process has looked.
"There's a lot of discussion league-wide about the value of a running back," Stefanski said. "Is running back still as valuable? I mean, for us, it is. We've got the best in the business, in my opinion. And I know that conversation, and I know it's complicated, but for us, we're thrilled with the guys we have."
Chubb's versatility is a valuable asset to the Browns and could show more this season, as it allows them to utilize unique formations and plays. While it may be new for him to play in a spread-out offense with more passes to the running backs, Watson reassured that Chubb is comfortable adjusting to the new style.
"Chubb is a big part of the offense, and we know that," Watson said. "We will continue to feature him and do what he is great at. He's going to embrace his role."
Last season, the Browns ranked in the top 5 for rushing attempts. Chubb had an average of 18 attempts per game.
That number could go up for Chubb this season now that Kareem Hunt is no longer on the roster, but the Browns are also expecting much more success from Watson in the pass game, too.
And Stefanski is confident Watson will be able to do that with the new plays and added flexibility he's giving him to take command of the offense.
"When the quarterback likes the play I like the play," Stefanski said. "We've talked about this before, there's so much football, so much scheme. When a quarterback is comfortable with a play, he typically makes it work."