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Browns still getting to know QB Charlie Whitehurst but happy to have him

Charlie Whitehurst wasn't sure when or if a phone call would come.

The veteran quarterback who joined the Browns roster this past week figured there was a "50-50 chance" he'd suit up for his 11th NFL season.

"But you never know," said Whitehurst, who gives the team depth and experience at the position following the loss of Robert Griffin III and, most recently, Josh McCown.  

"You just work hard, stay in shape. You kind of occupy your time that way. I'm used to playing football, I started doing this, gosh, like 1993, I think so it's the first time I've been sitting at home in the fall with nothing to do," he continued.

"So you go and work out and it's what you do. And the time comes, you're able to get to a practice and if they need you in game, go out and compete and win the game."

That's what the Browns are asking of Whitehurst, the former Clemson standout and something of a journeyman throughout his career, as they prepare for a trip to Miami this weekend.

Hue Jackson has made it clear the rookie Cody Kessler will get the nod and make his first start at Miami, but Whitehurst offers the club peace of mind in case something were to happen to their third-round draft pick from USC.

"He's a veteran quarterback that has played in this league that has done just what we are asking that guy to do. In case — God forbid something were to happen (to Kessler) — he has to go in there and play. We are going to try and get him up to speed as fast as we can," Jackson said Wednesday.

"He's a veteran. He has a veteran presence about him. He understands the role and the opportunity. I think he is trying to make the most of it as well."

Whitehurst, who has totaled nine starts and 25 games in stops with San Diego, Seattle, Nashville and Indianapolis, said his goal is to "operate the offense" if need be.

"That's what my plan is, I feel confident I can do that. You go in there and — obviously you don't have reps with these plays and these players and first and foremost is not making critical mistakes — but if you're called on to throw to win the game, I expect to do that," he said, adding he's been impressed with Kessler.

"He kind of operates not like a rookie he really takes charge out there and he seems like he's got a really great grasp of the offense."

Another thing Whitehurst noticed?

"I have never played with anybody in this locker room," he said, laughing.

"When I got the call, you looked at the roster and the coaches – I have a little history with a handful of the coaches here, but players I have never. I had met some of the quarterbacks. I've met Josh and Robert playing against them, but I didn't know anybody. And that kind of makes me feel a little bit old, too, because I used to know everybody in the league."

To be sure, that dynamic is also what makes the 34-year-old an asset to Cleveland's youthful locker room

"Here is a guy that has played in the National Football League and has been in the league for a lot of years and has seen a lot of different defenses," Jackson said.

"I think that gives everybody a calming thought process in the case that if something were to not happen right, here is a guy that can go out there and play."

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