Browns coach Hue Jackson indeed said Wednesday that Cody Kessler will be the first quarterback to get first-team reps in camp. Jackson also said the other three contenders for the job will get reps, too.
So how will it all play out?
“You have to kind of do that by feel,” Jackson told reporters. “Like I said, Cody is going to walk out there first, DeShone [Kizer] is going to get reps, Brock [Osweiler] is going to get reps, and Kevin [Hogan] is going to get reps, and then as we go through the process, we will evaluate and see where we are. There will be markers as we go. There will be data that we will look at to make very important decisions as we move forward. It could change. It could not change. That is all going to play out as we go through training camp.”
This implies that it may take a while to narrow it from four to one. Which necessarily could make the guy who finishes No. 1 less prepared to start than he could be, or maybe should be. Unless the winner makes himself obvious early.
“As you start to see guys start to distance themselves, you start to move into a different direction,” Jackson said. “I think that is what was asked earlier: How will it all turn out? I can’t tell you exactly how fast it is going to happen, but I think we all know that old saying, ‘The cream kind of rises to the top.’ They will start to separate themselves as we go. As that happens, we will make that decision and make sure that guy gets enough reps to be ready to play.”
Kessler shouldn’t read much in to the fact that he’s the first one to get a chance to take the reps.
“Somebody has to walk out there first,” Jackson said. “We have made a decision that it will be Cody and we will kind of go from there. . . . He is still the guy who demonstrates knowing the offense the best. He is the guy that has played the most football for us in that group, and I think he deserves a chance to walk out there first.”
Jackson emphasized that all four players will have a chance, even though rookie DeShone Kizer gets plenty of attention.
“I know we talk about DeShone more than we do Brock [Osweiler] and more than we do Kevin [Hogan], but all four of those guys are going to have to have an opportunity to walk out there and compete because that is the right way to run this.”
Does even Osweiler, the footnote on a trade for a second-round pick, have a chance to win the job?
“Yes, he does,” Jackson said. “He is here competing. Brock did a good job in OTAs and our offseason program. He is going to walk out there and compete just like the other guys.”
In the recent PFT Live draft of quarterbacks on the hot seat, Barstool Big Cat selected the Browns quarterbacks generally. And he has a point; the guy who eventually wins the job likely also wins the right to be the first guy to lose the job, inevitably.