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7 burning questions for Browns QB Cody Kessler

Two weeks ago, Cody Kessler was on the inactive list for the season opener at Philadelphia.

Last Sunday, he warmed up on the sidelines as Josh McCown's backup but never saw the field.

On this Sunday in Miami, Kessler will not only make his NFL debut, but he'll also do it as the starter, Cleveland's third at quarterback in as many games.

It's been quite a month for the third-round pick from USC, and ClevelandBrowns.com caught up with him to gauge his mindset heading into Sunday's game against the Dolphins.

CB.com: What's the week been like now that the reality has settled in about your status as the team's starting quarterback?

Kessler: It's been great. I've been ready to work and the guys are ready to go. I'm excited for an opportunity. Like I said all week, I've stuck to my process and continued to come in and get to work and work on things I haven't gotten a lot of reps at, the mental side of it, and get up to speed really fast. It's been great. Coach (Hue) Jackson and the whole coaching staff have really done well with a great game plan and helping me out. It's been a really good week of work.

CB.com: You mentioned the long hours you logged during the early part of the week. What exactly are you doing during that time and how have you filled the time in the days since

Kessler: I've been doing it since I got here, doing the same thing. It's just preparing yourself. Even before this week, it was as if I was the starter and continued that. For a chance like this when things happen, you don't want to come in and be questioned on what you're going to do. 'OK, now I'm the starter. Should I prepare better?' You want to continue to do that the whole time. For me, it's just been the same thing. I'm studying Miami, watching a lot of game film, watching their games, all the cut-ups, going over our game plan and seeing how that works, seeing why we're calling certain plays and what we're doing and then be able to come out to practice and hit it full speed. You want things to go smoothly and treat it like a game. For me, I've treated every rep like a game just because I haven't gotten a chance to get game reps. I think this week with the hours of film and preparing and having practices has really helped me.

CB.com: What's the biggest difference between the pro-style offense you ran at USC and the one you're operating here?

Kessler: I think the terminology obviously is a little different. It's a lot of concepts I'm used to and have been introduced to before so that's helped me a lot in that aspect, but the terminology is different. There are different calls here and there, different verbiage and different things you have to learn with protections and calling the formation, calling the play and everything. I felt a little bit of an advantage getting used to a pro-style offense in college so it's helped me be a step ahead coming into this offense.

CB.com: Which teammate has helped you the most during this transition?

Kessler: The whole quarterbacks room has been great. Josh and Robert (Griffin III) have been really good with me. Josh has been a guy that has been there for me the whole time really helping me out and taking the time. It's really cool because he's a vet, he's been here for a while and he still takes the time. I'm coming in as a rookie and he's still taking the time to help me out. Throughout this week he's been great, too. Robert, too, they both have been really good with me. I walk off after every series at practice and Josh kind of just talks me through the next set or talks me through what to look for, what your reads are. He's been great. I've really leaned on him and the quarterbacks room as a whole.

CB.com: Have you done anything differently than you did heading into your first start at USC to calm your nerves?

Kessler: That was a while ago. You just stick to the process. You want to be over-prepared. You want to have everything answered. You want to have no questions going into game day. That's what you control, how you prepare and how you go about your business throughout the week and getting ready to go. That's been my main focus. I want to stay as in tune to the game plan, stay late, go over extra film, make sure I have everything covered so when Sunday comes around there's no hesitation or confusion.

CB.com: You've talked a lot about what growing up in Bakersfield, California, has meant to you. Earlier this week, the city took out a billboard in Cleveland to wish you luck. What did that mean to you?

Kessler: I've always been proud of where I came from. Bakersfield is a great town, it really is and it makes me really proud. I saw that when I was driving from home to practice the other day. Someone sent me a picture of it, and it was just crazy. It's a weird feeling you can't describe but it's so awesome that my hometown in Bakersfield is supporting me all the way out here in Cleveland. It's been a really, really long ride for me from Bakersfield to where I am today but the home city has always been behind me 100 percent and I'm just really proud of where I come from and really proud to represent Bakersfield.

CB.com: Without Corey Coleman, who steps up at wide receiver and how have you adjusted

Kessler: The guys have been getting a ton of reps, Rashard Higgins, Ricardo Louis and Jordan Payton, guys that are younger guys that haven't got as much game experience but they step right in and have done great. Terrelle (Pryor) has been great helping them out with (Andrew) Hawkins. Everybody has just rallied around each other. That's the cool part of this team. It really is a next man up mentality. Even when a guy is healthy and another guy comes in behind him, guys are really want to see each other compete and get better and they're pushing each other to get better every day. It's been great to see those guys come in and get reps this week and do a great job.

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