Brock Osweiler shrugged off the unexpected trade that sent him from Houston to Cleveland as matters out of his control.
The new Browns quarterback and former Texans starter, who met with reporters for the first time last week since the trade, spoke of having an internal focus of control, neither dwelling on a bumpy 2016 season nor how his time there came to an abrupt end this past spring.
"There was a coach that I played for in college and he told me, 'Only worry about the things that you can control,'" Osweiler said. "And so from the time of the trade that's all I've done. From the day I arrived, you couldn't have been welcomed in a better way."
That approach has paid off thus far for Osweiler as the Browns wrap up their second week of OTAs. Osweiler, who spent his first four seasons in Denver and grabbed headlines in 2015 when he stepped up in place of an injured Peyton Manning, has exceeded expectations while competing against Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and rookie DeShone Kizer for the starting job.
"Brock has been a pleasant surprise," head coach Hue Jackson said Wednesday. "He has done a good job. He works hard at it every day. He's into it. I think he really enjoys being here."
Indeed, Osweiler's six years of experience have been on display at practice, whether it's his arm talent, poise in the pocket or ability to learn a new playbook. The 6-foot-8 signal caller gushed about Jackson and quarterback coach David Lee's commitment to fundamentals, a dynamic he said has helped him grow since coming to Cleveland.
The Browns take to the practice field in Berea for OTAs.
Osweiler, who signed a four-year deal with Houston, struggled in his first and only season there, throwing more interceptions (16) than touchdown passes (15). He was, however, able to help lift the Texans to a playoff victory and showed promise as Manning's heir-apparent back in Denver.
The Browns, who acquired Osweiler as part of a trade that netted them Houston's second-round pick in 2018, say they're not here to hold his past shortcomings against him. Instead, Jackson said they'll evaluate Osweiler based on what he does in Berea.
"Since he has been here, he has been outstanding. I don't get caught up – I think you guys know me – I don't judge people by what everybody else says, I kind of judge them by what I see," he said, "but everybody has a reputation before them. His was a little bit different. He's not any of that, that we saw. The guy has been outstanding in our building, and I think that's what is most important."
Asked if Osweiler's unusual height required a tighter windup, Jackson shook his head.
"It's really interesting standing behind him because he is so tall. He is just looking on top of everybody and dropping balls down," he said with a laugh.
It's really interesting, and I told him this yesterday, I went back and watched a little bit of film of him from last year, and he looks much better right now. He is more compact. He is throwing the ball with a lot more velocity. He is doing a lot of good things. He needs to keep growing, just like I said all of our quarterbacks do."