Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Kevin Stefanski: Deshaun Watson’s run plays are a huge part of what we do

The Browns defeated the Bengals in dominating fashion in Week 1, but the team’s passing game was unimpressive.

The unexpectedly rainy conditions didn’t help either quarterback, as Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow finished 14-of-31 for 82 yards. But playing at home on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland’s Deshaun Watson was 16-of-29 for 154 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Watson at times looked more effective as a runner, taking five carries for 45 yards with a 13-yard touchdown at the end of the first half.

On Monday, head coach Kevin Stefanski said the Browns incorporating Watson in the run game will depend on the week and the moment within the contest.

“I think if you look at [Sunday], Deshaun made a play on the first third down, scrambled, and made a first down,” Stefanski said in his Monday video conference. “He had made plays on designed runs. He made plays just by carrying out his fakes. You’re going to watch on some of those runs where [with] him carrying out his fakes, a lot of the defense is aware of his ability with the ball in his hand.

“So, that’s a huge part of what we do. Whether it’s by design, whether it’s off schedule, whether it’s a third-down scramble, whether it’s a first-and-10, quarterback-designed run, all of that is part of who we are. I think the game and the different game plans and those types of things will determine how often that occurs.”

Watson’s touchdown run was one of the key calls in the game, as Cleveland didn’t have a timeout left in the first half and would have needed a quick spike to get points before the break. But Watson reached the end zone with 17 seconds left.

As a passer, however, Watson wasn’t able to complete some critical shot plays. Some of Watson’s throws were low and skipped into his intended receiver.

“[Y]ou felt it in that game, and there were opportunities that just we couldn’t connect on a few of them,” Stefanski said. “But bottom line is, we got to always look for those big plays down the field if they’re there. If they’re not there, we have other options. But part of this game and part of every game is going to be trying to find explosives in the past game.”

The Browns will have an extra day this week to improve those connections, as the club will take on the Steelers next Monday night.