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On-Field Observations

Observations from the 13th practice of Training Camp

Here’s what happened on a sunny afternoon in Berea

Linebacker Tony Fields II (42) during Day 11 of Training Camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on August 9, 2023.
Linebacker Tony Fields II (42) during Day 11 of Training Camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on August 9, 2023.

The Browns had their final tune-up Wednesday before they play their second preseason game Friday against the Commanders.

Here's what went down on a sunny day in Berea.

Watson looks crisp ahead of debut

Deshaun Watson announced he will be starting Friday against the Washington Commanders, and he turned in a smooth day in the final practice Wednesday.

Watson looked particularly sharp in a seven-on-seven period when he connected on all five of his passes — first a short 3-yard pass, and then a 7-yard pass to Nick Chubb. Then, he threw a 12-yard slant to David Njoku, which drew cheers from the crowd. After that, he found Amari Cooper for a 13-yard slant and then a 3-yard check-down pass to Chubb to avoid a sack.

Watson also looked sharp in a situational red zone period, converting on a fourth-and-5 to TE David Njoku on a perfectly placed ball between two defenders for a touchdown.

Watson will play at least 1-2 drives on Friday, with the goal being to operate the offense well, avoid mistakes and build a solid collection of game reps.

"You just gotta get that routine again," he said. "You just got to start fresh, get back to the basics of how you get yourself prepared for the game. Mentally, physically, and just really just operational for the team so we can go out there and be sharp."

Check out photos of the team during the eleventh day of Training Camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus

Defense secures takeaways

The Browns added S Juan Thornhill over the offseason to lead the defense and help them increase their takeaway total from a year ago, and Thornhill did his part of the job in securing one of two takeaways in Wednesday's practice.

Thornhill made a remarkable play during the 11-on-11 drills when he read a pass and stepped in front of the ball for a clean interception on Watson. Thornhill playfully attempted to run the ball back to the end zone and was chased by a few defensive teammates.

CB Denzel Ward also did his part in forcing takeaways. He deflected a short pass that popped up with enough air time to land in the hands of LB Jordan Kunaszyk, who would've had a clear path to the end zone in a normal game setting.

D-Line opens impresses to open practice

The defensive line also turned in a smooth day, particularly at the beginning of team practice when they successfully prevented numerous running plays and disrupted a few screen passes.

During the first three plays of 11-on-11, the defensive line quickly swarmed Chubb on a few runs. It also tipped a pass from Watson.

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