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Training Camp

Josh McCown looks at big picture as Browns name Robert Griffin III starting QB

For the past few months, Josh McCown has handed the Browns quarterback competition with the poise and grace of a 14-year veteran. So shortly after Cleveland announced Robert Griffin III as its starter, he humbly applied that same approach.

"Obviously as a competitor you want to play and you want to be the guy, but I understood kind of the direction we were going and so I'm excited for our team," said McCown, who started eight games last season for the Browns.

"I said this last time I talked that I've been on both ends of it and when the quarterback competitions, they drag out through training camp and stuff like that, and I don't know if you're any better off because then you have two guys that have had half reps so I think it's great that we know who it is moving forward. 

"We're behind that guy and our team can rally around that guy," he continued, "and we can move forward."

In what was a measured process led by head coach Hue Jackson and associate head coach of offense Pep Hamilton, the Browns made it clear that they wanted to make a fair and calculated decision at quarterback following a string of instability at the position.

"I'm not in a rush, everybody else seems to be in a rush," Jackson said with a laugh in June. "I think I've been up here three or four times, and it always leads back to, 'Are you going to make a decision about the quarterback?' I think it's way too soon. And it's not that I can't see enough, it's that I'm kind of old school. I know how I want this position to play for this organization and this city and this football team … there's just a certain feeling you get and you know."

Following a string of strong performances, Griffin earned that distinction.

Along the way, he'll have help from the coaching staff and teammates like McCown, who spoke highly of the former Redskins star and what he's brought to Cleveland following four years of highs and lows in Washington.

"Just watching the last few days, he's just throwing the ball really well. Just running the offense and so I think that bodes well for us," McCown said. "Obviously on any team where the quarterback's playing at a high level and he's playing well, you feel like you can give yourself a chance."

Indeed, Griffin has looked sharp — particularly in a live scrimmage Friday night and the second-annual Orange and Brown Scrimmage Saturday in Columbus — as the Browns prepare for Day 9 of training camp.

"I just feel like the last probably five or six days of camp, he really settled in and he's starting to stack one day after the next of good days," McCown said, "where he's just running the team and doing the right things with the football."

To be sure, McCown's presence in the locker room remains an important dynamic in the Browns locker room and quarterbacks room. The 37-year-old is a wealth of information for the likes of Griffin, Austin Davis and the rookie Cody Kessler.

"No matter the circumstances, you try to help the person next to you as much as you can, help their journey in life whether it's outside of football or inside of football be better," McCown said.

"And that ultimately when you're on a team, and you get people that are doing that, then you have a chance to be successful."

McCown added: "As a competitor, you want to be on the field you want to play — there's no question about that — but at the same time it's so much bigger, and it's about a team.

"Now that question is settled," he continued, "and we can move forward."

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