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News & Notes: Jacoby Brissett 'will cherish' his lessons as starting QB, role as locker room leader

Brissett reflected on his experiences from the 2022 season


Jacoby Brissett's top goal with the Browns this season was to be a good teammate.

And judging by the way the Browns have continued to embrace him in the locker room even after he was relegated to a backup role in Week 13, Brissett has succeeded.

"I feel like that holds more weight to me than wins or losses and things of that nature," Brissett said Friday. "Hopefully in the next couple days, I can get that answer if I was a good teammate or not."

RB D'Ernest Johnson was standing at his locker nearby and gave his answer.

"You're a great teammate, bro," he shouted.

"Don't worry," Brissett said back. "I'll pay for your dinner tonight."

The Browns' love for Brissett hasn't waned since he traded his starting duties for a clipboard and earpiece when QB Deshaun Watson, who was suspended the first 11 games this season for violating the league's personal conduct policy, returned to action.

In the last six weeks, teammates have still stopped by Brissett's locker to chat about life and crack jokes. They've also constantly played a game where players stand face-to-face. One person points in one direction — up, down, left or right — directly in front of the other's face, while the other has to move their head in an opposite direction. If the head is moved in the same direction as the point, the person loses.

Brissett has been one of the top volunteers to play the game — just one of several examples of how he's formed close bonds with many of his teammates.

"Just trying to be a good person and be there for guys," Brissett said. "I found that I've talked to more guys than I have went up to. They've come to talk to me and things of that nature, and since I haven't been playing and have been mingling around more, my relationship with guys have gotten stronger."

It's been a year unlike anything Brissett has experienced before in what already was a roller coaster of a seven-year career. His NFL journey has been defined by playing the backup QB role and being thrusted, often on short notice, into starting roles with three other teams before he joined the Browns in free agency last offseason. From Weeks 1-12, he built one of the most efficient seasons of his career. 

He left the starting role with a career-high completion percentage of 64 percent, 2,608 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. Before Brissett became the backup, he was on pace for his best season yet in the NFL.

He helped WR Amari Cooper attain the start he needed en route to his sixth 1,000-yard season of his career, for example, and also delivered the ball accurately to third-year WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, who has enjoyed a bit of a breakout season and sits at a career-high 797 receiving yards on the season.

Stats don't exist for locker room presence, but that's one area Brissett has also excelled regardless of whether he was starting the next game.

"It's been awesome," Brissett said. "It's been nothing short of that. The highs and lows, ups and downs, the relationships, the things you get to experience in an NFL locker room and being able to start and play good football, it's been a lot of fun. It's something I for sure will cherish."

What's next for Brissett beyond this season? He's not sure yet. A starting job elsewhere around the league could find him, but he also loved the camaraderie he was able to build with the Browns.

"Who knows," he said. "This league is crazy, right? A lot of things have happened. I wouldn't be me if I were worried about that. Right now, at this point in my life, those things will happen if those things are meant to happen. I'll be where I'm at."

That's what helped Brissett achieve his top goal of the season, after all.

"I've learned a lot about myself and this game," he said. "I'm excited for what the future holds, but I'm excited I got to do this experience."

Check out photos of players and coaches working to prepare for the teams regular season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers

O'Shea credits Cooper for DPJ's growth

Browns pass game coordinator/wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea hasn't been alone in coaching Peoples-Jones this season as he's continued to show major strides in his game.

O'Shea said Cooper has also been a heavy helper in that area, particularly when it comes to route-running, which he believes has been one of the most improved areas of Peoples-Jones' game this season.

"Amari is a very accomplished route runner," O'Shea said. "He works very hard at that. He studies the opponents. He is very thorough about studying the opponent, and he works extremely hard all in being a great route runner. It's contagious in our room. He's really helped our guys. He has helped (WR) Donovan Peoples-Jones develop into a better, more refined route runner. He's helped, I would say, the group just become better fundamentally and become better professionals."

Hudson ready to show growth vs. Watt

Browns OT James Hudson III will start at right tackle Sunday in place of Jack Conklin, who was ruled out for the game due to an ankle injury.

"I want to just go out there and leave it all out there," he said. "A lot of people will say we don't have anything to play for, but for me, I just really want to go out here and help this team get a win. That's the most important thing."

Hudson, a third-year vet, started the first two games of the season but hasn't started since. He looked particularly strong in the Week 1 win against the Panthers, when he was given a 76.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, and he's looking forward to showing the steps he's taken in his second season against Steelers All-Pro edge rusher T.J. Watt.

Watt had his way against Hudson last season when he started for Conklin in Week 17. Watt grabbed four sacks, and Hudson has reviewed the film from that game to identify ways to ensure Watt is more contained this week.

"Just seeing exactly what I did wrong in that game," he said. "Just seeing, on the plays he beat me on, exactly what he did to beat me around the edge or beat me to the inside. Just picking up on those little things as to why I didn't succeed that day.

"The biggest thing with him is his get-off. He's a smart player. He watches the cadence. He uses that to his advantage. He has great length, great speed and great hands. He's the whole package."

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