AFC Notes: Nick Chubb, Deshaun Watson, Bengals, Browns, Steelers

Bengals

Bengals OT Trent Brown said he missed the team’s voluntary minicamp due to multiple family emergencies.

“The only reason I wasn’t here is I had a few family emergencies where I had to stay back home,” Brown said, via Jay Morrisson of ProFootballNetwork. “But it was finally clear enough for me to come out and be back with the team. I was here already when the offseason started, but when that happened on Mother’s Day, I had to stay back home and see about my family. Everybody was good about it. Everybody was reaching out, making sure I was all right and making sure my family was all right. I was happy about that.”

Brown said he attended team meetings virtually and is glad to be back at the team facility to really learn their system. 

“Being here in the building is definitely more valuable, especially as a new guy, just learning the ins and outs and intricacies of the offense,” Brown said. “I was Zoomed in for meetings, so I was still here. I just wasn’t able to do the physical part.”

Brown is always open to helping bestow knowledge on younger players. 

“I always try to be a wealth of knowledge to all my young guys wherever I’ve been,” Brown said. “I’ve always tried to help out where I can.”

Browns

Browns QB Deshaun Watson is heading into his third season with the Browns after playing just 12 games in two years due to suspension and injury. Cleveland HC Kevin Stefanski looks forward to Watson returning and wants to see him at his best in 2024. 

“We always talk about how we want the best version of ourselves. I want the best version of Deshaun,” Stefanski said, via Christian Gonzales of NFL.com. “He is constantly getting better. I see so many of the veterans, Rich as you know, every single year you challenge them to get better. Even the guys who are at the height of their craft.”

“I know Deshaun is in the same boat, he wants to be better, he wants to play better, every single game, every single year. … I’m excited for where he is right this minute with plenty of work to do. I know he’s going to continue to get better and get healthy. But I’m excited about Deshaun.”

  • Stefanski talked about how Watson looks after shoulder surgery: “I thought he looked good. Made good decisions. You get mental reps when you’re back there and then it’s a little different when you’re taking the snap from the center or the shotgun. But, I thought he did a nice job.” (ESPN)
  • Cleveland GM Andrew Berry touched on their excitement for RB Nick Chubb to his first introduction at home this season: “One of the moments that we’re all most looking forward to is the first time he runs out of that home tunnel for his debut of the 2024 season.” (Ian Rapoport

Steelers

Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick aims to get back to playing his brand of football this season and believes the new impact free agents can help achieve it. 

“Just let me play ball,” Fitzpatrick said, via Teresa Varley of the team’s official website. “That’s it. Minkah ball. As many great players as you could get in the field is going to help Minkah play Minkah ball.”

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