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How Hue Jackson, Browns try to create a 'QB-friendly' environment

CANTON — The Browns have yet to establish a long-term answer at quarterback but that won't stop them from creating an environment conducive to finding one.

It's something that second-year coach Hue Jackson, who's widely regarded for his tutoring of signal-callers across the league, has long spoken of as Cleveland enters its fourth week of offseason workouts and prepares for Friday's rookie minicamp.

That, of course, will be the first time Jackson gets to work with Notre Dame quarterback and second-round NFL Draft pick DeShone Kizer, who will compete with Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler and Kevin Hogan for a starting role on a new-look Browns offense.

All four will have the opportunity to earn that job in the coming weeks and months. And Jackson will make sure they have the tools to succeed, both on the field and in the locker room, as part of what vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry described as a "holistic" approach to the position.

Berry, who spoke Monday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Luncheon, said Jackson and the coaching staff work to create a favorable situation for their signal-callers, something the Browns did this past offseason by fortifying the interior offensive line with the signings of Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter.

The next component, Berry said, is mental preparation, "whether it's from a sports performance perspective as well as what you need to do in the locker room being the quarterback of an NFL franchise."

On the field, "Hue has a unique way of making a system quarterback friendly so everything is done to make it easy on the quarterback," Berry said. 

"And we use this term a lot — 'conceptual learning' — in Cleveland and it's the idea that, 'Hey, look, if I can teach you these five or 10 building blocks, everything else in the offense will be a variation of those," he continued. "So if you can understand those, you'll be able to understand this voluminous playbook a lot more quickly than other systems in the NFL because of how he builds his playbooks in concepts, which isn't necessarily commonplace across the rest of the league."

To be sure, Jackson made it clear last month Cleveland isn't rushing to anoint a starter.

"I just want to get them on the practice field and just kind of groom these guys along with (quarterbacks) coach (David) Lee and see where we can take this group, but I think there's talent there," he said.

"Now, is it exactly what we want yet? We will find out. I don't think that is a question we have to answer today, but I'm excited about the guys we have in that room to work with."

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