Orange and Brown Talk | With Andy Billman and Tony Camino

August 2, 2023

Andy Billman Tony Camino

Questions Every Browns Fan Is Thinking – Discussed!

1. The elephant in the room, what do you think about Deshaun Watson in 2023?


Watching Watson a year ago, he didn’t lose his arm accuracy, arm strength, or his magical ability to extend plays. However, he continued to struggle with his timing, often delivering passes just a millisecond too late, which allowed defenders to get back in the play.

After spending considerable time away from football and dealing with an offense styled around Jacoby Brissett for 11 games, it’s understandable that there were delays in his decision-making process. Nevertheless, with Kevin Stefanski reportedly revamping the entire offense, I am confident it will allow Watson to return to form. Having an entire offseason focused solely on his offense, along with fewer distractions and media expectations, should benefit him greatly. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him return to a top 10 form.


I do agree with Tony, hard to say Watson is done or stinks after one bad six-game run, especially with the off-the-field matters. Watson did have one good half against Washington and hopefully, that is what we are going to see throughout 2023. We should see dramatic improvement with a full training camp and full season.

I think Watson will be dramatically improved, will he be 2020 Watson, no I don’t think so, but I do think we are going to see a quarterback in the top half of football.

I want to see Watson produce some exciting plays with his legs into big yardage, and or scrambling to make big throws for touchdowns. I did not see anything close to that in 2022, which did surprise me. I want to see some big plays.

2. When it comes to new additions, who excites you the most?


I’m very excited about Za’Darius Smith.  Not only does he perform on a high level as a defensive end, but finally we are going to have someone to play alongside Myles Garrett.  Yes, Jadeveon Clowney had some moments in 2021, but Smith has produced far better numbers and has had more of an impact on the field.

I can’t remember another time when the Browns had two defensive ends that disrupted games consistently. There’s a good chance that can happen with Smith and Garrett, very exciting.

An honorable mention is Dalvin Tomlinson, I believe Tomlinson will help the dreadful run defense the Browns had in 2022.


Last season, a significant issue for the Browns’ offense was finding someone who could create space other than Amari Cooper. Donovan Peoples-Jones has shown improvement year after year, but his style of play heavily relies on contested catches, and he doesn’t get open as often as desired. The Browns were in dire need of a quick playmaker from the slot position who could make the quarterback’s life easier.

Elijah Moore, the 34th overall pick in 2021, showed flashes of potential, but a change of scenery might be exactly what he needs to fully capitalize on his talent. In New York, the odds were stacked against him for achieving success. Catching passes from Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, and Mike White in that offense didn’t provide an ideal environment for him to thrive. Furthermore, with Garrett Wilson’s dominance and the additions of Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman, Moore’s role with the Jets was diminished. However, playing alongside great weapons and a rejuvenated Watson in Cleveland gives him a lot of potential to shine.

Will Kevin Stefanski be here at the end of the season?


Being the first Coach of the Year to come out of Cleveland in ages and having won a playoff game, I’d like to hope the answer is going to be yes regarding Kevin Stefanski’s future. However, with the talent at an all-time high, failing to meet expectations might lead to his dismissal. Vegas may have set the win total perfectly at 9.5, and that number could determine whether Stefanski retains his position next year, assuming the team remains relatively healthy.

There is no question about Stefanski’s ability to create an effective offense and get the most out of his players. Clear examples of this are his success with Baker Mayfield and the way he brought Case Keenum’s best football back in Minnesota under his guidance. However, Stefanski needs to show improvement in terms of overall coaching and in-game decisions. While going for it on fourth down can often be the right call, ensuring the team is fully prepared and has the best play aligned for that moment is essential to avoid costly mistakes this year. Too many times, I agreed with the decision to go for it on fourth down, but somebody consistently wasn’t on the same page, leading to penalties or broken plays that resulted in turnovers.

Overall, I think the Browns will exceed their win total, so I guess that’s the easy way for me to think he will be here next year. We don’t want to settle for mediocrity in the coaching position, but I don’t love the idea of trying to find an offensive mind better than Stefanski on the market.


It’s funny, everybody talks about improvements of Watson, hopefully, we are going to see some improvements with Coach Stefanski.

I thought he did a lousy job last year even with all the Watson distractions.  As Tony mentioned above, he is a good offensive mind, and he comes off as very likable. Stefanski seems like a good person. 

But he had some baffling moments in 2022.  The awful play call with the 4th and 1 throw in Cincinnati with Jacoby Brissett is one of the worst, to have Brissett come into the game cold to make one throw is just not smart. 

And when the defense had breakdowns along with special teams, that goes on Coach Stefanski not just the coordinators.

I’m avoiding the answer, so I do think he will be here at the end of the season as I think the Browns will win ten games, so I see Stefanski improving, but I am in the camp of I need to see it to believe it. Stefanski makes me nervous as a fan. And what the hell is on that play sheet?!?!

Are you a fan of the current analytics minds in Berea?


In short, no.

I can’t stand how there is no emotion sometimes with the sidelines, players included. Need to see some fire in 2023. 

Also, need better in-game adjustments and not just point to an analytics chart or a play call and say see it should have worked. I get the feeling that sometimes in games the Browns have already made their mind up on what they are going to do no matter the outcome in a game and that just is not good.

Analytics is an important part of sports, football included, and I like how they rely on analytics, but it just can’t be the end all of how every decision is made, and up to this point I get the feeling that is what is going on.

I will say that the 2023 offseason has brought some good signs that they are breaking away from the analytics. The Browns finally made some moves that were against the analytics minds at times and that was good to see, especially on defense. 

More emotion and football acumen to complement Brown’s analytics would go a long way to success in 2023.


In the year 2023, if a team isn’t involving analytics, they are falling behind the times. However, it’s crucial to combine analytics with real game feel and actual sports knowledge, avoiding blindly following data. Last year, the lack of emotion was admittedly hard to see after the team disappointed week after week, and it wouldn’t go against analytics to show a little more urgency to the media.

The Chiefs are a team that integrates analytics perfectly, and many other top teams follow suit. They constantly push the boundaries of what’s acceptable and set the standard for football in the NFL. However, they don’t let analytics entirely control their decision-making process, but they incorporate both approaches to achieve the optimal outcome.

As a fan of analytical thinking, I would appreciate it even more if the team balanced it with real-time decision-making and relied on their game feel more often. Ultimately, improved execution is what will eliminate any questions anyone might have about their approach.

The game most excited about? 


Personally, week one games are the worst to watch because of the massive overreactions from the fanbase. A win and everything is amazing, but a loss, and the season is already over. In addition, divisional games bring a lot more nerves than anything because of how much they mean in the grand scheme of the standings.

The game that really catches my eye and excites me the most is the week five matchup at home versus the San Francisco 49ers. It’s a game outside the conference that hurts us the least in case of a loss. The Niners have been one of the top-performing NFC teams over the last few years. This game should serve as a great measuring stick for the Browns, allowing them to take the emotion out of the equation while still getting an idea of how they match up with the league’s best teams.


I love Tony’s opening line and that is why I am most excited about the week one home opener against the Bengals.  It is a division game against our in-state rival that is the favorite to win the AFC North and by some the favorite to win the Super Bowl. 

The anticipation of how the Browns are going to do and of how Watson is going to play along with it being the Bengals brings a lot of buzz and juice to a week one game.

I am going to nominate a runner up and that is the New York Jets game on week 17 Thursday night.  I see this game as an elimination game, meaning I see the winner going to the playoffs and the loser more than likely being eliminated.  Add Aaron Rogers, the final regular season home game, and the Browns wearing white uniforms to a national audience, that’s a lot of energy.

One brash prediction?


With the addition of Za’Darius Smith, Dalvin Tomlinson along with new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, this should give the opportunity for Myles Garrett to finally be selected as NFL Defensive Player of the Year. 

Garrett should have a natural rotation this season, allowing him to get proper rest during a game and that should give Garrett a boost in his numbers.  Also, attention has to be made by the opponent to Smith and Tomlinson, which should give Garrett new opportunities to pad his stats.

I also believe Smith will help the leadership on defense as from early indications Smith has no problem leading and motivating his teammates, which will take a burden off Garrett, which I think will be welcomed.

Finally, a lot of journalists and talking heads have been putting Garrett down throughout the offseason.  I believe this will be motivation for him to want to prove to the naysayers that he is an elite defensive player.


For the first time in his career, Nick Chubb is going to be let loose and given the full workload as the feature back. In his early years, he was already showing his talent by surpassing 100 yards with just three touches, but he was sitting behind Carlos Hyde. Then, he was in a near-split role with Kareem Hunt over the last few years. However, now Chubb has zero competition for carries, making him the primary ball carrier.

Jerome Ford is also a talented running back, but it’s unlikely he’ll have a role as involved as Kareem Hunt’s in the last two seasons.

While reports suggest that Stefanski is opening the offense and tailoring it more to Watson’s playstyle, Stefanski-led offenses in the past have always relied on establishing a strong run game. This tendency may persist even with Chubb on the roster, especially as it complements the offense and helps open passing opportunities. Chubb is expected to become more involved in the passing game, which will further benefit his performance by creating running lanes and opportunities.

Considering everything is in Chubb’s favor, he is poised to have a monster year, and it’s my bold prediction that Nick Chubb will win Offensive Player of the Year.

The biggest concern in 2023?


A year ago, the root of all the issues on the Browns’ defense was the interior defensive line. Yes, the secondary had plenty of broken coverages that led to touchdowns, and yes, the linebackers were nowhere near healthy all year long. However, the defensive line play was some of the worst I’ve ever seen last year, with the interior tackles getting noticeably pushed back yards from the line of scrimmage.

For the linebackers in the game, having defensive linemen backed into you makes it nearly impossible to shoot the gaps and make plays. The addition of Dalvin Tomlinson should go a long way in solidifying the middle of the defensive line, but losing Perrion Winfrey makes the depth very questionable. Hopefully, a move is on the horizon before the end of camp because I’m not sure if any of Jordan Elliott, Maurice Hurst, Siaki Ika, Maurice Hurst, or Tommy Togiai can fill the void.

Added depth at the defensive end position will help mask issues in the middle of the d-line, but they still have to be serviceable besides Tomlinson. Perhaps someone else in the room is going to step up, or outside help will be needed.


I am concerned that Stefanski is not the right coach, and he is simply just an offensive analytics genius and nothing else. I am rooting hard for Stefanski, but I need to see some in-game adjustments and more focus from the head coach on defense and special teams, not just offense. Need to see a complete performance and finally, need to see a moment when Stefanski is outcoaching the opponent, have not felt that once in his three seasons in Cleveland.

I am going to also mention kicker Cade York.  York made a huge first impression on week one defeating Baker and the Panthers in Carolina, but he really struggled to maintain that energy after week one.  York needs to turn it around, the Baker game-winning victory field goal does not hold among all the misses.

Are the Browns playoff bound? 


Yes, it will be a nail-biter of course, but yes, they will make it.  The talent on the 2023 team from Deshaun Watson, Nick Chubb, Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, and others from last year’s roster is not questioned and the added free agents along with the coaching staff additions make give me faith that the Browns can make it to the playoffs, but not 100 percent.

What makes it hard to predict is what to make of the 2022 season.  It was so unique with the off-the-field issues with Watson that predicting what will happen after last year’s difficulties is not easy.  Especially with how poor Watson played when he returned, that is a big unknown.  Hopeful that he will play considerably better, but again hard to say for sure, and if people claim to know he will bounce back it is a faithful guess, nothing more.

Also, in the 2022 Browns season, Stefanski showed multiple mental errors throughout the game.  He needs to show he can adjust on game day and that he is more than an offensive coordinator/head coach.  Yes, he has a good offensive mind, but that does not mean he’s a good head coach.  Stefanski needs to show growth as well, along with Watson.

I do believe Watson will play better and will have a good season, the Browns best player, Nick Chubb will have an outstanding year again and I believe Myles Garrett will take his talents to the next level in 2023.  I do believe Stefanski made good adjustments with his coaching staff and that should translate on the field.  Regarding his improvement on gameday decisions, I need to see it to believe it.  That said, the Browns should and will make the playoffs.


The AFC North is brutal this year, with all four teams having playoff aspirations. The Bengals and Ravens are primed to make postseason runs as well, and the Steelers are likely to be right on the fringe. Finding a way to get three divisional wins is the first step towards the postseason, as they cannot let those three teams completely disrupt the season.

The offense should be one of the league’s best, with elite talent at every position. Nick Chubb is primed to have a monster season, and the Amari Cooper-Deshaun Watson connection will only get better with time. Defensively, Myles Garrett is still around, and the secondary has plenty of talent. The interior defensive line needs to improve from last year, and the linebackers need to stay healthy.

Likely, it’s going to come down to a couple of games and moments to determine if this team makes the playoffs. Collapses in close games like last year are not acceptable if this team wants to achieve its goals.

Heading into camp prediction 2023 Browns final season record?

Tony – 11-6

Andy – 10-7

We will be back at the end of the preseason to do one last final prediction of the record and schedule.

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