The Browns are one of the many NFL teams back in their facilities. Coach Kevin Stefanski is glad that for the first time in a long while, his players are able to "break bread" together.
They'll have plenty of breaking in to do with all the new faces in the organization. The most prominent one, Deshaun Watson, was among those in attendance for the first week of the team's offseason conditioning program, and a flurry of questions intended for Stefanski followed Wednesday.
Atop the list were inquiries regarding Watson's current standing with his off-field legal matters and potential suspension. Stefanski had no new information to provide on the matter and told reporters the team is ready to "adjust and address any new information" when it becomes available.
In the meantime, Watson and his fellow new quarterbacks have new teammates to get to know and an offensive system to learn. With Watson's skillset differing from that of former starter Baker Mayfield, Cleveland's scheme could look rather different from previous years spent under Stefanski. It's a process Stefanski and his staff have already begun and will continue through the offseason.
"With the quarterback, you do want this to be a collaboration," Stefanski said. "It's really all quarterbacks are different and you want to make sure you meet them where they are. Deshaun's very open-minded to trying different things he hasn't done. Similarly, we're very open-minded to putting in schemes that he has a lot of success in that we haven't done, for instance. So it's an ongoing conversation, but just I would tell you, day in and day out with him, just spending time with him yesterday and today, he wants to certainly grow as a player. And he wants to try different concepts.
"I think that's the beauty of the spring ... where you can get out on the field and it's somewhat of a laboratory. And you try things out and see what fits. There's going to be a bunch of things that we hope fit and you take that into training camp and certain things that maybe he doesn't love, you don't do, because it's ultimately what our quarterback is most comfortable doing.
"To get there, though, there's a lot of meetings, there's a lot of install, there's a lot of practice that has to occur to ultimately tell you how much we will change."
Cleveland reshaped its entire quarterbacks room this offseason, first acquiring Watson via blockbuster trade with Houston, then signing Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs. Mayfield is expected to depart at some point this offseason, either via trade or release, and the Browns already shipped his veteran backup, Case Keenum to Buffalo.
Now, the Browns have three quarterbacks with similar skill sets and the capability to handle the duties of whatever their adjusted scheme will require. Creating that scheme will be a team effort, Stefanski said, and won't rely solely on the input of Watson, especially if he is suspended by the NFL and Brissett -- a veteran with starting experience -- will be needed to step into the first-string role.
"We felt like we added three good players, and ultimately, they do share some skill sets," Stefanski said of the quarterbacks. "Not all the exact same in that regard, but certainly bigger, more athletic, the three guys together. Ultimately, it's what those three guys do best, and there's certainly a thread of things they do well that we want to make sure that we're utilizing."
Questions remain regarding Watson's acclimation to the team and how the rest of the roster will handle whatever external distraction could come from continued speculation on Watson's status with the NFL. Until his legal matters are resolved, it's a topic that will continue to be discussed, and Stefanski said it will be up to the rest of the team to focus on the task at hand, not the outside noise.
"They know that when we're in the building, we focus on what's in front of us, whether it's in the classroom or the weight room and eventually when we're out on the field," Stefanski said. "That's being a pro is making sure that when you're in this building, you're here to work. And that's what the guys are doing."
Speaking of noise, Mayfield made plenty of it when he recently appeared on a podcast and said he felt "disrespected" by the Browns. Stefanski declined to speak on Mayfield's comments and divulge any additional information on the former No. 1 overall pick's standing with the team at this point in the offseason.
"That's a unique situation, it's fluid and we'll just continue to work through it as we go each day," Stefanski said.
There's still plenty of time and even more work to accomplish in Berea for the Browns, who have reshaped their roster with the goal of winning the AFC North and making a Super Bowl push in a loaded-up conference. They believe they've made strides at key positions while securing the services of other important players -- Denzel Ward signed a five-year, $100.5 million extension this week -- who will fill essential roles. Now it's about preparing for another season that will draw plenty of attention to Cleveland.