From Myles Garrett to last man on roster, Hue Jackson says everything must be earned

The Browns are confident first-round NFL Draft picks Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku will eventually blossom into impact players for years to come.

But first, they'll have to earn the right just to get on the field.

That's why Cleveland's rookies found themselves taking reps with the second and third-team units during Tuesday's mandatory veteran minicamp practice, a hot afternoon that saw the Browns defense take center stage.

"I think everybody has got to earn the right to play," coach Hue Jackson said, "and I think we all recognize and understand that sometimes there are certain situations where that's not the case because maybe there's not another player at the position."

That latter part of Jackson's comments were in response to a question about Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick and talented former Texas A&M defensive end. Indeed, he's shown why he was almost unanimously considered the Draft's top prospect, but Jackson says he has to keep proving that on a deep defensive line that includes fellow edge rushers Emmanuel Ogbah, Carl Nassib, Nate Orchard and Cam Johnson.

The Browns take to the practice fields for the first day of minicamp.

"We have some other players at that spot, and I think it is only fair that we create an environment where guys earn the right to play," Jackson said. "There are some guys that don't have to do that. They walk in and there is nobody at that position and it happens."

That's why observers saw the Browns mix and match players on both the first-team offense and defense, including rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who split reps with veteran counterparts Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler.

But Jackson said there's no shortcutting the path toward earning a starting job. Not even for Garrett, who's expected to be a cornerstone type of player.

"On this football team, as long as I'm the head coach here, then we're going to earn the right to play for this football team," Jackson said. "Nothing is given. You have to go do your job and do it to the best of your ability."

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