BEREA, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Jacoby Brissett knew what he was getting himself into when he signed with the Browns this offseason.
He wasn’t coming to Cleveland to be the long-lost franchise quarterback. It was his job to step in for the one the organization acquired from Houston and gave $230 million to while a suspension would be served.
On and off the field, Brissett has been everything the Browns could have hoped for.
“That’s so funny, because people ask you that, and it’s like, ‘am I not supposed to do that?’ That’s what I signed up for,” Brissett said. “I don’t think I should be commended on doing my job and doing what I’m supposed to do and what I told myself and everybody else that I was going to do.
“I’m doing my job. But I just obviously wish we won more games.”
The hope and expectation was that the Browns would be in playoff contention when Deshaun Watson was done serving his 11-game suspension as a result of a disciplinary settlement with the NFL.
So much for that.
The Browns are 3-7 and all but out of playoff contention before Thanksgiving and Watson takes the field.
“Obviously, I envisioned us winning more games. But we didn’t, we haven’t so far,” Brissett said. “We’ve got another opportunity to go out there and get the win this week. I signed up for this, I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy task. I didn’t sign up for easy, I wasn’t brought here for easy. And I knew I was the right person for it, and I still believe that I am. I think I’ve shown that.”
Don’t blame Brissett for the Browns lot in life right now.
“Jacoby has been amazing for us,” running back Nick Chubb said. “He is a great person overall and a very good player. He has done a lot of great things here. I love him. I love playing beside him. It has been great playing beside him. I know this last game he is going to give it his all for us.”
Brissett, a seven-year veteran who is with his fourth team, is completing a career-best 64.4% of his passes this season. He’s thrown for 2,398 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. He believes he’s shown he can be a starter in the NFL, yet head coach Kevin Stefanski couldn’t bring himself to say that when asked about it Wednesday.
“I don’t know that it is Jacoby’s focus nor my focus,” Stefanski said. “I would tell you he has performed how we thought he would in his role. More than that, he has provided outstanding leadership for this football team. Good in the quarterback room, good in the offensive meeting room and good with the team. Has provided a very balanced approach to the group.”
Although Stefanski didn’t want to look to the future and what might lie ahead for Brissett, it’s clear he respects how Brissett has handled an unusual and difficult situation.
“I appreciate it, yes,” Stefanski said. “Now, Jacoby’s mindset and our mindset is a one-week mindset. I think he has really performed well because he has done that. He focuses on what is in front of him, and that is this Tampa game. Not really thinking about what has occurred in the past and not thinking about what is coming down [in] the future. I don’t think any of us can afford to think that way. I think that is what I appreciate the most about him.”
It’s not often a backup quarterback establishes himself as a leader on a team, but Brissett did just that in a short amount of time.
Players gravitated towards Brissett during the offseason while Watson was going through the civil accusations and awaiting discipline from the NFL and they continue to today.
“Just how he carries himself,” Chubb said. “He is a great leader. He is not afraid to speak up. He tells you how he feels. He plays hard.
That last game with Buffalo with Jacoby, he wanted to win more than anybody. He was not going to stop until we won that game. He played his heart out. That shows what type of guy he is overall.”
Brissett will make what is expected to be his final start Sunday against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Brissett was teammates with Brady as a rookie with the Patriots.
“You guys have to stop saying the last start thing,” Brissett said. “I just want to win. I don’t care who it is against.”