Five things to watch as the Browns prepare for OTAs

Pete Weber recreates 'Who do you think you are, I am!' in Browns schedule release (3:45)

Bowling legend Pete Weber helps the Cleveland Browns introduce their schedule for the 2024 NFL season. (3:45)

BEREA, Ohio -- The Browns didn't have a splashy offseason. With a limited budget, the biggest move Cleveland made was its trade for wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, who subsequently got a three-year, $58 million extension. Otherwise, the Browns re-signed many of their own free agents and made small outside additions.

As such, the main focus for the Browns as they enter organized team activities isn't so much on a wave of newcomers as it is the status of various returnees, whether it be their on-field growth or health status. Here are five things to watch as the team enters the next phase of offseason workouts, beginning with OTAs this week.

Deshaun Watson

Starting quarterback Deshaun Watson continues to make progress after his season-ending surgery in November to repair a displaced fracture to the glenoid in his throwing shoulder. Watson said in April that he has been throwing full speed, and general manager Andrew Berry said he expects Watson to be ready for the start of the 2024 season. Watson also said he hopes to participate in OTAs and minicamp. However, he has yet to be cleared to practice without restrictions. OTAs could give the first look at Watson since he injured his shoulder.

Status of other injured players

In addition to Watson, the Browns had a rash of injuries to several key players in the 2023 season. They're all on different timelines for recovery, and many may not be ready to practice. But OTAs could show how much progress various players have made. Running back Nick Chubb, offensive tackles Jack Conklin, Jedrick Wills Jr. and Dawand Jones and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson are among the players who also sustained season-ending injuries.

Ken Dorsey's offensive wrinkles

The Browns hired Dorsey as offensive coordinator this spring to replace Alex Van Pelt, who is now the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator. Dorsey has a history of working with quarterbacks who have a similar skill set to Watson; he was in Carolina with Cam Newton and in Buffalo with Josh Allen. The Browns also believe Dorsey's background as a quarterback will help as they continue to shape the offense around Watson. Cleveland may not have its starting quarterback at 100% participation in OTAs, but the practices should still offer a glimpse at the nuances of the new-look scheme.

Jerry Jeudy impact

Jeudy is the Browns' prized offseason addition. Though the 2020 first-round pick never totaled 1,000 yards in any of his four seasons with the Denver Broncos, the Browns are confident he will be a top option in their passing game because of his route running and quickness. He'll get to continue building chemistry with the team's quarterbacks, and Cleveland's stout secondary will give him plenty of tests this spring and summer.

Rookie progress

The Browns had only a six-player draft class, and their first selection didn't come until pick No. 54 when they got Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Hall Jr. The group got its first taste of life in the NFL with rookie minicamp, which coach Kevin Stefanski said was more focused on the basics. They'll now be lumped with the team's veterans, which should give a better look at how they could fare. Hall seems the most likely to contribute as a rookie; the team is excited about his pass-rush ability, which could get him playing time in a deep defensive line rotation.

But the next few weeks are also important for guard Zak Zinter. The third-round pick's participation in rookie minicamp was his first football action since he broke his leg in November. He said he felt comfortable, and he'll continue to get back into a groove with an eye of training at multiple positions over time. Cleveland is set at guard with veterans Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller, but Zinter could be a top backup in 2024.