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Training Camp

Josh Rosen hoping to 'apply what I've learned' in next NFL opportunity with Browns

Despite constant shuffling around the league, Rosen feels he’s learned a lot across his four NFL seasons and is looking to prove it in Cleveland


Josh Rosen's next NFL opportunity has arrived, and he's ready to embrace it one day at a time.

Rosen, the 10th overall pick of the 2018 draft, signed with the Browns on Friday and is eager to begin a fresh start in Cleveland as he competes for a backup quarterback position in training camp. He was the fourth QB the Browns added this offseason and is hoping to find some stability in Cleveland, his sixth NFL city and third in the last year.

"I'm very excited," Rosen said. "This is a really good football team with some awesome, smart coaches. I've just been living in the facility trying to catch up, run the offense and figure out my role."

Rosen was one of the top players of the 2018 draft class after a stellar career at UCLA. His draft stock ascended after he won Freshman All-American and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2015, and his first-round status was solidified after he passed for a program-record 3,756 passing yards his junior season in 2017.

The NFL has been a different challenge. He's thrown for 2,864 yards with 12 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in 24 games. His tenure in Arizona lasted just one season, and he was traded to the Dolphins in 2019 and waived in 2020. He's since made stops with the Buccaneers, 49ers and Falcons.

Rosen, 25, wants to prove he can stop the shuffling in Cleveland. He feels familiar with the playbook from Head Coach Kevin Stefanski, which is predicated around wide-zone blocking, play-action passes and heavy use of the run game, and Stefanski said the Browns will test Rosen to see what he can do in the offense.

"He's a skilled football player and has been in a bunch of different systems," he said. "He knows a lot of football, but we really feel like we have a young player and will see what he can do over the next couple weeks and what he can handle."

Rosen believes the system is QB-friendly and will help him adapt quickly with his new team. 

"We've got some dynamic players all around," he said. "This team can run the ball, and the O-Line can protect really well, so I think this is definitely a system and a team a quarterback would love to play for."

Check out photos of players and coaches working throughout camp

He also knows nothing is guaranteed for him.

He'll have to earn a spot in a room that includes three experienced QBs in Deshaun Watson, Jacoby Brissett and Josh Dobbs, and he'll have to do it by making the most of his training camp reps.

Those reps might be limited to start for Rosen. Stefanski said Wednesday he plans to give the bulk of camp reps to Watson and Brissett, but when the ball is in his hands, Rosen won't take it for granted. The constant shuffling of teams has prevented him from attaining a consistent intake of reps under the same system.

"My mission is to learn the offense and earn those reps and play football," he said. "I've been with 3-4 teams the last couple years and haven't gotten a whole lot of reps. I think over time, it'll be good to put my head down, prove I'm an asset in the room and just play football."

Despite a lack of reps, Rosen still feels he's learned a lot from his time with other teams.

He's been in quarterback rooms with Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Ryan Fitzpatrick, who he highlighted as someone who helped him learn how to slow the game down. Rosen was the backup to Fitzpatrick in 2019 and early part of 2020 with Miami.

"The lightbulb went off when I was around Ryan," he said. "A lot of (what he taught me) has to do with when to make the game complicated and when to make it simple. At times, you can overcomplicate the game, and a lot of it is about keeping it simple when it needs to be simple.

"Then, you have third downs, red zones and your big plays where you need to see more of the field. A lot of it is being fast, efficient and knowing your keys."

Rosen will have a chance to apply what he's learned during training camp.

It's the next opportunity he has in a career that's been full of tough lessons, but he's ready to prove he's grown from them in a Browns uniform.

"I've been in a lot of different systems, and I think I've learned a lot of football the last few years," he said. "I'm really just trying to get some reps to apply what I've learned, and I think those will come with time."

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