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Browns QB Cody Kessler press conference - 4/18

On his offseason:

"I was out in California, working out and training. I got a chance to go to Dallas and work with (WRs) Corey (Coleman), Ricardo (Louis) and Jordan Payton. They were out there so we got a couple of days together. The majority of the time, I was just out in California, throwing and working out there every day. It was good. It was a good offseason. We got to throw a lot and throw to some really talented guys and a chance to work with different quarterbacks and stuff. I definitely felt like I made the most of this offseason."

On if he feels like he is this team's starting QB:

"That is not my decision. What is up to me is how hard I compete and prepare in obviously this offseason, coming back and ready to go and getting back with these guys and working out with them. My mindset right now is just go out there and compete and control what I can control, and that is how I work out and watch film and every little detail that there is to playing quarterback in this league. That is something for me that is really important to me and being very competitive, and at the same time, learning from the other guys in the quarterback room and obviously, (quarterbacks) Coach (David) Lee and (Head) Coach (Hue) Jackson."

On what he learned most during his rookie season:

"Obviously, the biggest thing is that there are ups and downs. There is some good and some bad. There are things that you do really well and there are things that you really need to work on. At the end of the day, good and bad, it is definitely stuff you can learn from – self-scout yourself. That is something that I spent a lot of time on this offseason was watching myself in different games and different situations, whether it was short yardage, third down or red zone and seeing what I need to improve on. There are some things that I saw that I want to continue to improve on. There are some things that I want to do a lot better. At the end of the day, last year good and bad, it was a really good experience."

On the changes in the QB room with the addition of Brock Osweiler and not having QBs Josh McCown and Robert Griffin III:

"Obviously, Josh and Robert were great to me, and I built some life-long friendships with those guys, still talk to them and have reached out to them since they have left. I wish them the best obviously moving forward. Brock is here now, and he is a great guy. We have gotten to know each other over the past few days and are just building off of each other. (QB) Kevin (Hogan) is obviously in there, too. It is a really competitive room. At the same time, we are trying to be better as individuals but make the room as strong as we can. Brock has been in the league for a while now so I am going to learn everything that I can from him. Obviously, Kevin and I are going into our second year so we are still helping each other out and learning new things. I am excited. We have a really strong room right now, and obviously with David Lee in there, who knows positions so well, we are excited to learn from him and continue to learn from Coach Jackson, as well."

On if he is currently approaching the offseason as if he is the No. 1 QB unless told otherwise:

"Yeah, and that is in any position anywhere you play. You have to approach it [that way]. Like last year, obviously, I was the third-string guy and I treated every week as if I was the starter. That is the same mindset that I took going into this offseason, whether that is reality Week 1 or it is not. You have to take that approach. You have to prepare during the offseason, in season, week in and week out as if you are the starter. That is the mindset that I have had this whole offseason and going into workouts right now and then obviously into OTAs and camp. You have to prepare yourself like that because if you don't and all of the sudden that happens, then you aren't going to be ready. My mindset this whole time is to prepare as the starter and continue to do things as if you are going to play Day 1."

On 2017 NFL Draft QB prospects visiting the Browns facility and one potentially joining the team's QB room at a high pick:

"Obviously, that is up to the front office and Coach Jackson. They are going to do what they need to do to obviously improve this football team and do everything that they can to help out this team, no matter what position. Like I have told you guys, ever since I have been playing this game, is control what you can control. No matter who they bring in or if they do or they don't or whatever may happen, you just have to compete, and every chance that you get an opportunity, you have to make the most of it. That is something that I am a firm believer in. Whether it is in practice or OTAs, whenever those chances come or those opportunities come, you can't be looking over your shoulder thinking different thoughts. You just have to focus on the moment and give everything you have to the guys in the locker room and the coaching staff and just continue to compete."

On if Jackson has spoken with him about expectations and his position heading into his second NFL season:

"Obviously, his biggest thing for me was just to make that leap going from Year 1 to Year 2 and having a full year under my belt and understanding what it takes to play in this league. Whether that is film study or on the field and off the field – all of the different things that it takes to be successful in this league – it is something that I got a little bit of a taste of last year. That was his biggest emphasis for me was you need to take that jump and continue to learn and improve and just do everything you can to make yourself a better quarterback, a better leader, a better guy in the locker room and everything you can do to be just an overall better player. That is something that I take personally and that I worked on this offseason and did a lot of different things to help myself on the field but as well off the field."

On if he worked on his vertical passing game this offseason:

"Absolutely. I definitely spent countless hours in the weight room and out on the field and really, really emphasized pushing the ball down field and different things with my mechanics – obviously, it has to transition over when the bullets start flying – that have helped me out a ton. That is something that I really worked on and had a big emphasis on. I continued to work on the short and intermediate gains, moving and being comfortable in the pocket moving around but as well as stepping into a throw and getting my back foot under me more so you can push it more down the field and getting everything into the throw instead of falling off. Countless hours of drills, different mechanical stuff that I spent in this offseason that I felt has helped me improve in that area.

On if he worked with Tom House:

"Yes sir."

On the importance of his second offseason after spending last offseason preparing to enter the NFL:

"Obviously, last year, you don't have a break. You are going into the Combine and pro day and all different things going into the draft, and then that next week, you are in rookie minicamp. Obviously, since the Pittsburgh game last year, the last game of the season, I knew exactly from Day 1 and that next day what I wanted to improve and things I wanted to work on so I had four months to focus and zone in on the stuff that I really wanted to work on instead of just working out and not knowing where you are going to go and what is going to happen as you are preparing for the draft last year. Obviously, [this offseason] I knew my goals that I wanted to have for the year coming up, and I can specifically work on instead of just working on and waiting. It was good. I felt like it was a lot more productive for me this offseason, especially writing down goals and stuff that I wanted to work on and be able to attack those each days."

On QBs and WRs that he worked with during the offseason:

"There are a lot of guys out there. I went to Dallas and got to throw with Corey, Ricardo, Higgins and Jordan, but there were a ton of wide receivers out there. We had guys from junior college to (Patriots WR Julian) Edelman was out there and I got to work with him and a ton of other receivers – (Jaguars WR) Marqise Lee, (Rams WR) Robert Woods and some of the guys that I worked out with in college. It was good to get to work with those guys and get timing down with guys who had a lot of speed and a lot of quickness out of routes. It forced me, especially Julian and guys like that, to speed your feet up and get your timing down and to really put the ball in front of them and get a little more on it."

On what he's looking to improve on after evaluating himself in the offseason:

"Watching myself and different things was… Being the first year and there was stuff that I was a little hesitant on that normally you want to pull the trigger a little bit faster, get rid of the ball a little bit faster. During the first year, I was a little hesitant on it. That's in no way an excuse, but it's something that I saw and said, 'OK, you got that out of your system. You learned last year what you can do, what you can't do, things you've got to work on.' I just watched myself and working on that this offseason is just trusting the guys, getting the ball out on time, helping your offensive line out, eliminating some of those sack opportunities, instead of taking three or four hitches getting it out on the first or second hitch or finding your check down or run and throw it away instead of holding onto the football and causing problems for not only yourself but everyone else on the field. That's something that I'm very hard on myself with is really being critical in different situations and situational football. Watching film last year, there was plenty of things and notes I wrote down and goals for myself that I wanted to work on."

On if he got bigger and stronger because of hard hits he took last year:
"I don't know. Like I said, I worked out five times a week and around that and just really put an emphasis on different things, certain areas I wanted to work on. I stuck to the meal plan, did everything that I really wanted to do and control this offseason. Like I said, I did everything I could. Worked hard in the weight room, out on the field, everything and just getting ready to go this year."

On if he recalls having an inkling the Browns or a specific team would draft him at this time last year:

"Yeah, it's tough because when you do that, you start stressing yourself out a little bit trying to figure out where you're going to go and all these possibilities. Obviously, I took a visit here to Cleveland and came in here and got to know the coaching staff really well and talked to some of the guys. Obviously, I knew Cleveland was an opportunity among a couple other teams, but you really don't know. When you try to get an idea and try to think you really start overthinking it and all these different possibilities and being with my family and friends and kind of just ignoring the whole situation, just working out or going and blocking the whole draft, everything out until the day actually came. I feel like that helped me out a lot more was instead of trying to overthink where I might go, where I might end up just kind of worrying about getting ready to go and working out."

On how curious he is about the draft and what the Browns will do:
"I'm excited, obviously, for this organization and to be here. Obviously, Coach Jackson has made some big moves in the offseason along with (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sashi (Brown) and the front office. It's been awesome to be a part of and be a part of this. Obviously, the Haslams have been everything and great to us and awesome. I was so excited to get back. I missed these guys. I missed being around this team. Yeah, no matter who they bring in or what guys they get, I'm excited to be a part of this team and be able to compete for a chance to play here and continue to improve on things that happened last year. Like I said, at the end of the day, it's great to be here, and I'm excited to be back."

On if there is chatter amongst Browns players about what might happen during the draft:
"No, that's what is cool about this locker room. We know different things happen in the draft, but no. Everyone came in on Monday and just had the mindset of everyone's happy to see each other and ready to go. From the first team meeting yesterday with Coach Jackson about turning the page and moving on, everyone had that mindset. You could see in the first day of workouts. The weight room was about as intense as it's been since I've been here. It was awesome. Obviously, this is my first real offseason with the team, but the guys are in there, the leadership, everyone getting after it and working with each other and pushing each other was really cool to see and really cool to be a part of."

On if he sees himself as a starter in the NFL among other starters in the league and able to help the Browns win rather than the idea that Cleveland needs to find a QB that's an improvement:

"Yeah, absolutely. That's the mindset you want to take, and that's something that… Having so much criticism on myself and watching that – things that I didn't do well last year, even things I did well and want to improve on is watching other quarterbacks in the league saying, 'OK, I can do that. Let me take this from this guy or little things here and there and maybe not do it as well as them or maybe everyone's a little different.' Everyone has a different playing style and a different game style, but you take bits and pieces and you put it into your own game. Just studying guys on film, I watch hours of (Saints QB) Drew Brees and (Patriots QB) Tom Brady and (Packers QB Aaron) Rodgers and just different guys that have played in the league for a long time and done a great job and picking stuff from them here and there, whether it's pre-snap or things they do from the line of scrimmage or just little hand motions, different cadence, whether they throw the ball. Yeah, that's my goal and that's the mindset I've taken is that I want to be successful in this league, and I want to play for a long time. That's the mindset you have to take each day. That's what drives you and motivates you."

On going from playing with Josh McCown and Robert Griffin III last year to having more experience in the offense than any other quarterback on the roster this season:

"It's kind of different how you go from being the rookie to being the older guy whether it is only the second year. It was cool the conversations I had with Josh and Robert before they left or reaching out to them, calling them. I talked to Robert before he left and got a phone call from Josh or shot him text. He was just awesome with the advice he's given me and everything that I've learned from him and Robert last year is stuff that I've already used these last two days, the leadership side of it and coming in with a mindset of pushing these guys and wanting to be great and wanting to have that attitude to where you want to just be relentless whether it's the weight room or watching film. Everything and all these things I've learned from them from last year has really prepared me, I feel like, to take that next step, whether it's on the field or off the field this year and continue to work hard this offseason."

On how happy he was that the front office invested in the offensive line in free agency: "A lot of that was on me though, watching film up front. Our offensive line did a great job last year, and that was on me. I've got to get rid of the ball faster. I've got to help them out. I've got to improve in that area, and that's something I took very serious because those are the guys, for me, that block for me. They're the most important for me, those guys up front, those five guys. Obviously, the running backs and tight ends at times, but those five guys up front are the guys that really make the offense go and really help us. That's something I want to work on was my timing and doing absolutely everything I can to help them out and eliminate some of those situations. Obviously, we're excited we've got some new guys in here and guys that want to be a part of the team. I got to meet with (OL) JC (Tretter) two or three times this offseason, drove down and met with him. Just went over the playbook and got to know each other while he was out in California. Building that relationship with those guys was big for me, helping them out and earning their trust and knowing that I'm going to get the ball out on time and I'm going to do everything I can to help them out up front, as well."

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