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#BrownsCamp position preview: Quarterback battle takes center stage

Posted Jul 17, 2017

Wide open competition awaits young signal-callers

The wait for Browns Training Camp is nearly over, and the anticipation is building with every passing hour.

Over the next week and a half leading into the July 27 start of training camp, we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about each position group. We’re wasting no time today getting to the one that will draw the most external attention.

THE QUARTERBACKS

Cody Kessler

Brock Osweiler

DeShone Kizer

Kevin Hogan

What happened at OTAs: Kessler, who started eight games last season as a rookie, entered as the No. 1 option but the rotation was fluid throughout OTAs and the veteran minicamp. Kizer, the second-round selection out of Notre Dame, went through the expected ups and downs of a rookie fresh out of college, but he was thrown into the fire on a number of occasions with the first-team offense and against the first-team defense. Osweiler, who started 14 games for the Texans, showed off a big arm and seemed to adjust well to a brand new system. No pecking order was established at the conclusion of minicamp, as Hue Jackson stressed that would be analyzed and decided during the team’s summer break.

Under the radar: Hogan, who was acquired shortly before the start of the 2016 regular season, was forced into action midway through the year when the Browns simply ran out of bodies at the quarterback position. He dazzled with his legs, rushing for more than 100 yards, but found mixed success through the air in a losing effort at Cincinnati. He didn’t see any other significant playing time from that point forward but remains a key member of the four-man room. He received reps here and there throughout OTAs and minicamp and will be competing for a roster spot over the next month-plus. If Hogan doesn’t make the 53-man roster, he still has practice squad eligibility.

Variables to consider: The two biggest things Jackson is looking for is accuracy and consistency from his starting quarterback. Kessler has been lauded for his accuracy since his days at USC and showed it off throughout his rookie season (2 INTs) but consistency became an issue as his time under center progressed. Osweiler threw 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions last season with the Texans and Kizer struggled at time with his control during his final season with the Fighting Irish. All three will need to show respective, marked improvement from what they did last season to win what promises to be a competitive battle. Jackson and quarterbacks coach David Lee simply won’t tolerate excessive turnovers.

Quote to note: “As the years go by here, we want to have an established quarterback. We don’t want to have this question where you guys are saying, ‘Who is the quarterback?’ every year. That is a problem we have to solve.” -- Jackson

Stat tracker: The Browns had three different starting quarterbacks and played six different players at the position last season. As Jackson clearly displayed in his above quote, one of the team’s top charges in 2017 is to drastically decrease those numbers.

How many were kept at last year’s 53-man cutdown?: Three

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