Brock Osweiler was asked if there was any gratification in Hue Jackson's decision to start him in Thursday's preseason opener.
Osweiler has been around too long to answer that question with a yes.
Elevated as the Browns' starter against the Saints early Monday morning, Osweiler knows the competition to become Cleveland's full-time starter is far from over. Playing for his third team and running his third different offense in as many seasons, Osweiler isn't taking anything for granted as he eyes the valuable "game reps" he'll receive Thursday with the Browns' first-team offense.
"Bottom line, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done," Osweiler said. "I think this football teams knows that. Obviously Coach Jackson preaches that every single day. He is telling us that. So this is just one step.
"There is a lot of chemistry to be built. There is a lot of fine details that need to be cleared out through more meetings and practice sessions."
For Osweiler, it started with Monday morning's walk-through and will continue with the next two practices. Rookie DeShone Kizer said Osweiler took clear command as the No. 1 signal-caller during the walk-through.
He admitted he's only been able to throw "here and there" with top receivers Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman but hopes the next few days make up for lost time. Shortly before he addressed reporters, Osweiler was discussing routes with running back Duke Johnson Jr., a key player in Cleveland's passing attack.
"At the end of the day, we are still going to run the same offense," Osweiler said. "We are running the Cleveland Browns offense. It doesn't matter if you are with the 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s. We are all running the same stuff. Now as far as chemistry with certain players, absolutely. Nothing replaces reps –especially game reps. So just the fact that I can get out there with that first group and start building some chemistry will definitely be a positive."
Osweiler's last two practices were among his best since the start of training camp. At Friday's Orange & Brown Scrimmage, he led two of the three scoring drives in an offense-dominated scrimmage and followed with a few more in Saturday's mock game. Near the end of Saturday's practice, he completed a deep pass to Rannell Hall, one of the handful of second-team receivers whom with Osweiler has developed and maintained strong chemistry.
His response to Monday's shakeup has already started. It gains some major steam Thursday.
"The key is to make the most out of whatever snaps you get," Osweiler said. "Whether it is five plays, 15 plays, 25 plays, 50 plays, it is always making the most of that play. When that play is done, put it behind you and make the most out of the next play. That is what I'm going to try to do Thursday night. I don't know how many plays I'm going to play.
"You can never go into a game with that specific mindset. The key is making the most out of all of the plays you do get, and that is what I'm going to try to do."