BOREA, Ohio — In the purest sense, there is no quarterback dispute with the Cleveland Browns. There is controversy surrounding their quarterback, at least the one who was acquired as the face of the team.
The Browns learned Monday that their quarterback Deshaun Watson will be suspended for six games by independent disciplinary officer Sue Robinson. The NFL still has an opportunity to appeal the decision and seek a longer suspension, which must be made in writing by 9 a.m. ET Thursday.
“coach [Kevin] Stefanski spoke to the team and let everyone know what was going on,” center Nick Harris said Tuesday. “Everybody has a lot of confidence in Jacoby. [Brissett]. He comes to work every day and is busy getting ready for work. “
Robinson’s 16-page decision became the talk of many across the country when it was announced Monday. That conversation, at least in public, didn’t extend into the Browns locker room.
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The Browns players were not reported to the media on Monday. On Tuesday, they continued to distance themselves from any direct conversations about Watson’s troubles off the court.
“It’s none of my business,” linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. said Tuesday. “I feel like this is something Deshaun needs to deal with. The legal process has to be left to itself and I don’t want to put myself in that situation. It’s football for us and he deals with it the way he needs to.”
A question was posed to Walker, and a franchise quarterback’s well-publicized off-court trouble should at least not be a cause for concern for his teammates. Browns players have been answering most of the questions about Watson dating back to the start of the offseason program in April, rather than the quarterback speaking for himself.
So, isn’t the matter of chartering a quarterback also a team matter?
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“That’s a good question,” Walker said. “I wouldn’t say that. At the end of the day, we’re all part of this organization, we’re part of this team, and we all have jobs to do. Worrying about other people’s jobs isn’t everyone’s job. We have our own jobs to do.”
Both Walker and Brissett were asked if they had a chance to read Robinson’s decision. Both say they don’t, and in fact, probably won’t.
Brissett probably spent as much time with Watson as anyone, at least in the facility. Brissett will serve as the starting quarterback during Watson’s hiatus.
This meant that if anyone on the team could understand Watson’s emotions, it was Brissett.
“Well, it’s ‘one day,’ so he’s been fine,” Brissett said. “Obviously, tough news, but [he] Can only go forward? “
One of those who read the report was Stefanski. The Browns coach had not seen the full report when he spoke to the media after practice on Monday, about more than seven hours after the decision was announced.
Even after reading the report, Stefanski maintained the position he took throughout the process. It’s basically about conforming to the process.
“I will continue to respect Judge Robinson and her ruling,” he said ahead of Tuesday’s practice. “I think that’s where I really focus.”
The man who hasn’t addressed the situation since training camp started is Watson. Since the Browns acquired him, he has only had two media availability: an introductory press conference on March 25 and a mini-camp on June 14.
When asked all sorts of direct questions about the quarterback, Stefanski has said several times that he wants Watson to speak for himself. He said on Tuesday that Watson, along with owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam and general manager Andrew Berry, would likely wait until the matter was completely over.
Follow Chris Easterling on Twitter @ceasterlingABJ.