Cleveland Browns Deshaun Watson Seeks guidance from a Super Bowl champion on strategies to emerge victorious in the AFC North.

In the most recent episode of the QB Unplugged Podcast, the Browns’ quarterback sought advice from retired Steelers safety Ryan Clark, a Super Bowl champion, on navigating one of the most challenging divisions in football.

Having experienced a taste of the playoffs as a Wild Card team last season, the Browns aim to prioritize winning the division and hosting a playoff game, as emphasized by Andrew Berry in his end-of-season press conference. As Deshaun Watson works towards recovery from shoulder surgery with the goal of contributing in the 2024 season, he is actively seeking advice to help achieve the team’s objectives.

On the QB Unplugged Podcast, co-hosted by Watson and his personal coach Quincy Avery, Ryan Clark joined the discussion. Watson specifically sought advice from the retired safety on what it takes to secure victory in the AFC North. Clark acknowledged the division’s toughness, emphasizing the need to fight through injuries, play well until the fourth quarter, and handle the physicality inherent in the AFC North, known for its outstanding rushers like Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt, Trey Hendrickson, and Justin Madubuike.

Clark highlighted the AFC North’s reputation for physicality, characterized by rugged defense and a strong running game, which has become synonymous with “AFC North football.” Watson demonstrated his toughness during the past season, notably leading a 14-point comeback against the Ravens despite playing with a fractured glenoid in his throwing shoulder.

One notable change in the AFC North from Clark’s playing days is the emergence of highly talented quarterbacks. Clark pointed out that the current quarterbacks in the division, including Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, and Deshaun Watson, pose a significant challenge. He contrasted this with his playing days when Ben Roethlisberger was considered the best quarterback in the division for an extended period.

Clark advised Watson on the importance of consistency, emphasizing the need to show up every week in the tightly contested AFC North. Given the competitiveness of the division, tie-breakers and division wins become crucial factors in determining success.

Reflecting on the 2023 season, Watson experienced firsthand the competitiveness of the AFC North, with three teams from the division making the playoffs and even the Bengals finishing above .500. Looking ahead to 2024, with Burrow and Jackson returning with strong performances, Watson can rely on Clark’s valuable advice as the Browns navigate the challenging AFC North landscape.

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