Brock Osweiler says he 'couldn't have been welcomed in a better way' in Cleveland

Brock Osweiler was on a golf course back home in Arizona when he learned he had been traded to Cleveland.

"I was standing in a sand trap," he said with a smile, "and I got a phone call and here we come."

But Osweiler, the former Texans starting quarterback whom the Browns acquired via a trade this past March, has taken everything in stride since that moment. So in his first meeting with the local news media following Wednesday's OTA session, he shrugged off an unexpected transaction that resulted in his first and only season in Houston coming to an abrupt end.

"There was a coach that I played for in college and he told me, 'Only worry about the things that you can control," said Osweiler, the former Arizona State standout. "And so from the time of the trade that's all I've done. From the day I arrived, you couldn't have been welcomed in a better way."

Likewise, Osweiler — who started 14 games in Houston and led the Texans to an AFC Wild Card victory last season— has made a strong impression on a locker room still searching for a long-term answer at quarterback.

"He has been outstanding here," head coach Hue Jackson said. "He has done everything that we have asked him to do."

Osweiler also offers the Browns' quarterbacks room a wealth of experience. His 21 starts are more than Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and rookie DeShone Kizer have combined (8).

But Osweiler, 26, described himself as the "new guy on the block" despite his veteran status. "I need to earn my stripes here," he said.

Prior to Houston, Osweiler spent his first four seasons learning from NFL great Peyton Manning in Denver, including a 2015 campaign that saw him shine in seven starts when Manning went down with an injury. Now, Osweiler is embracing a wide-open competition to be the Browns' starting quarterback.

"Competition goes all the way back to high school for me. I had to compete for a high school starting job, then in college I had to compete for the starting job there, and then you go to Denver — and I started to play because of injury — but I had to compete for a No. 2 job," he said. "So competition has been around my whole life. I think competition is a great thing because it brings out the best in you."

It's why Osweiler remains confident he can perform at a high level despite an inconsistent year in Houston, where he threw more interceptions (16) than touchdowns (15). He said Jackson and quarterbacks coach David Lee -- whom he described as master fundamentalists -- have helped him grow and develop over the past two months.

"My expectation is always to start, but once again, that's not my decision to make," he said. "If i came out here and told you guys I want to be the backup, I'm in the wrong business. Absolutely I want to play and I want to help this football team win games. But I know there's a lot of work that needs to go into that and ultimately I need to earn that."

The Browns participate in OTAs at the team facility in Berea.

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