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#pounditWednesday, November 29, 2023

1 AFC team’s passing reportedly has been ‘completely unimpressive’ in training camp

An NFL logo on the field

Feb 1, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; The NFL shield logo is seen at midfield at SoFi Stadium. Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals will be played on Feb. 13, 2022. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Every NFL team gets a clean slate during training camp and preseason action. While troubling signs at camp aren’t guaranteed to manifest once the regular season begins, there’s at least some worry with one team in the AFC North — the Cleveland Browns.

According to Zac Jackson of The Athletic, the Browns’ passing game has been “completely unimpressive” through 2023 training camp thus far. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has looked erratic whenever he’s operated from inside the pocket, according to Jackson. Watson has also failed to connect on “strings of consecutive completions” during Browns scrimmages of late.

While Watson has made some brilliant plays at times, Jackson stated that those have been few and far between. The 3-time Pro Bowler has reportedly stayed mostly within 10 yards thus far, with very minimal success going deeper downfield. Opposing defenses during the Browns’ joint practices have also been able to sniff out Watson “locking in” on a favorite receiver for the day.

The good news is that Watson and tight end David Njoku have reportedly found their groove together. Wide receivers Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore have also been limited in their involvement thus far. The updates within the Browns’ appear concerning but are hardly a death knell for the season.

There’s also the possibility that Watson is still trying to put his off-field issues behind him. After serving his suspension last season, the Browns QB did not look like himself during the six contests he played in. Watson finished with 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions for the season. He owned a completion rate of just 58.2% and averaged 183.7 passing yards per game — both career lows.

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