The Browns currently have four quarterbacks under contract. For now, any of them could end up being the Week One starter.
“This thing is open,” coach Hue Jackson told reporters on Saturday at the team’s rookie minicamp regarding the quarterback competition. It really is.”
For now, second-year third-rounder Cody Kessler will sit atop the depth chart.
“They will all get reps,” Jackson said. “Obviously, Cody will start this out. He deserves the opportunity to. Brock [Osweiler] is here and Kevin [Hogan] is, too, but [rookie DeShone Kizer] is going to get reps. The only way to get better is to get reps. I will find a way. I have been through this before a few times. We will get these guys reps, and he has to get some because I have to continue to evaluate him.”
By “reps,” Jackson presumably means “first-team reps.” For a true competition to occur, the candidates need to be getting chances to run the starting offense.
Jackson said that Osweiler, an afterthought in the trade that brought the quarterback and a second-round pick from Houston, will get a chance to compete, but that he won’t necessarily be No. 2 from the get-go behind Kessler.
“Brock is learning our system and learning the things that we do at the position,” Jackson said. “I think the other guys have done it. They have been through the process with me and understand how to play. That doesn’t mean that he can’t have an opportunity to exceed or succeed anybody.”
For now, though, it’s Kessler’s job to lose.
“They have to take it from him,” Jackson said. “They better take it from him because I know him — he is not going to give it up. It will be fun. That is what competition is all about. Until someone takes something from someone and shows that they can do it at a high level play in and play out, then we have to keep going in the direction where we’re traveling.”
It feels like it’s traveling toward Kizer (pictured) eventually taking snaps in games, whether it happens in Week One or Week 17 or somewhere in between.