The Browns' Orange & Brown Scrimmage on Friday night marked a milestone in training camp. Here's what you need to know.
— Browns coach Hue Jackson said he's in no rush to name a starting quarterback, but the competition should intensify following Friday night's Orange & Brown Scrimmage. Jackson said he'll evaluate the club's current rotation and see if it should change.
"Absolutely, I will. I have to. We have a game next Thursday," Jackson said, referencing the preseason opener against New Orleans. "I will definitely look at it."
Cody Kessler, who started eight games as a rookie last season, has been taking reps with the first-team since offseason workouts. The competition includes former Texans starter Brock Osweiler, rookie DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan.
Jackson also cautioned that — if the lineup were to change — it doesn't necessarily reflect whom the Browns might start for their season opener against Pittsburgh on Sept. 10.
"We might need to see more as I said a while back. All of this is good information for me, good data for me, good data for our staff, good data for our executive team to really look at every possibility we have as we move forward."
— Speaking of quarterbacks, all four had highs and lows Friday night in what Jackson described as "spotty play" throughout the evening. "We were mixing and matching and playing. In fairness, I thought they all tried to hold their own pretty well," Jackson said.
"That wasn't – to me – a true indication of who they are and what they are. It was good to get them in our stadium, on our field, around our fans and see what that is going to be like so that next Thursday night that is not new to them. They all will understand what that looks like and feels like."
— Kessler, whom Jackson has given the first crack at earning the starting job, described his training camp thus far as a series of ups and downs. And with the quarterback competition poised to take a turn sooner or later, he said he's going to "keep competing and continue to work hard."
"The preseason games are a chance to be able to do that in a game-like situation," he said with an eye toward Thursday's opener against New Orleans, "so those will be very important. I just have to keep competing."
— Osweiler, who has mostly worked with the second-team offense, echoed a similar sentiment when asked if he thought he deserves to take first-team reps. "That's not up for me to decide," he said. "My job solely is to show up every single day with a great attitude, prepared to work hard and ready to be a great teammate, and whichever unit I am with, to help them try to succeed at practice. Those decisions are for other people to make." Osweiler started 14 games in Houston.
— Kizer chalked up his debut at FirstEnergy Stadium as a learning experience. "For me to step out there and not play at the level that I would like to play at is a little disappointing for myself," he said. "We're going to take this into tomorrow and continue to get better throughout training camp." Kizer, the second-round Draft pick and former Notre Dame star, also shrugged off questions on whether he'd be ready to start Thursday against New Orleans.
"That's not my call. I think that coach continues to give me the reps with the first team, continues to watch me develop," he said. "We've been continuing to have great communication and building our relationship and I truly believe that I am getting better each day … These are all new things to me, so the more that I learn, the better I will hopefully become and hopefully one day Coach Jackson will be standing right here and will be able to make a call for me to go out there and make a good play for someone."
— The Browns first-team offense failed to score against its second-team defense, but Jackson isn't too worried about that dynamic. "I'm being honest. I've been through these things so many times. I have been where we didn't even make a yard before and then Thursday night looks like gangbusters," he said.
"No, it wasn't about that. Not at all. I think it is about our players understanding the process, coming out and competing, putting on that uniform and getting ready for Thursday night."