Deshaun Watson and Kevin Stefanski are in agreement about the objectives of Watson's offensive team-bonding week in Puerto Rico.
Deshaun Watson taking offensive skill players to Puerto Rico for a week of workouts and bonding
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Editor's note: Tony Grossi is a Cleveland Browns analyst for TheLandOnDemand.com and 850 ESPN Cleveland. He has covered the Browns since 1984.
With Kevin Stefanski’s blessing, Deshaun Watson is hosting approximately 16 of his offensive teammates in Puerto Rico next week for the quarterback’s version of voluntary offseason workouts.
The players will miss the final week of Phase 2 of team voluntary workouts at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. They will depart for Puerto Rico on Monday and stay through Thursday.
Watson has devised the itinerary in consultation with Stefanski and will pick up much of the travel expenses.
Watson hosted teammates last year on a retreat to the Bahamas. This one is expected to be a mixture of field work and off-field bonding.
The head coach is totally on board and enthused to see Watson asserting leadership in his second year with the club after traded by the Houston Texans and signing a fully guaranteed contract with the Browns for $230 million.
The contingent on the Puerto Rico VIP list includes offensive starters Nick Chubb, Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones and David Njoku, plus newcomers Elijah Moore and Marquise Goodwin.
Backups such as Josh Dobbs, David Bell, Anthony Schwartz, Jerome Ford and others will attend, too.
Offensive linemen are not booked for the trip. Rookie receiver Cedric Tillman and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson also will not attend.
Tillman and Thompson-Robinson will join all rookie draft picks, undrafted signees and tryout players in Berea this weekend for rookie minicamp and orientation.
Non-rookies expected to attend include quarterback Kellen Mond, who will compete with Thompson-Robinson for QB3, and a few others who did not receive much play time last year.
After the weekend minicamp, rookies free of college academic obligations will join veterans not attending the Puerto Rico excursion and complete the final week of Phase 2 voluntary workouts.
After next week, the offseason program shifts to Phase 3, which consists of up to 10 days of OTA practices with the full offense and defense in 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
Stefanski has shortened the schedule to six OTA practices May 23-25 and May 30-June 1. Stefanski’s one mandatory minicamp will be held June 6-8. That takes the Browns to their summer vacation.
Stefanski will convene training camp on July 22 at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV.
The Browns will then transfer to CrossCountry Mortgage Campus before playing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game Aug. 3 in Canton against the New York Jets.