There's one more chair in the Browns quarterback room since he signed with the team in March, but Robert Griffin III's mindset hasn't changed.
The arrival of Cody Kessler, a third-round pick out of USC, added a new, high-profile member to Cleveland's ongoing quarterback competition, but Griffin III maintained the dynamic hasn't been altered. In fact, he called Kessler "awesome to work with" and made a point to tell the rookie to not be afraid to ask him any questions or advice as he gets acclimated with the NFL.
""All of us are going to have to earn our spot on this team and earn our spot on the depth chart," Griffin said after Wednesday's OTA, the Browns' second of nine. "We are not going to hoard our notes or hoard our special keys here and there. We are going to try to help him be the best football player he can and then go out there and compete on the field."
After Saturday's rookie minicamp practice at FirstEnergy Stadium, a session in which Kessler spent the vast majority under center, Browns coach Hue Jackson stressed it was too early to say whether or not the rookie would compete for the starting job and too early to declare Griffin as anything but one of four veterans vying for the job. That didn't change after Wednesday's practice, one that Kessler did not attend as he joins rookie wide receivers Corey Coleman and Ricardo Louis at the NFLPA's Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles. All three players will be back on the field next week after attending the mandatory event.
Jackson said the Browns have "a long time" until they take the field for their season opener at Philadelphia, and the decision-making process to pare the roster from 90 to 53 has only just begun -- especially at quarterback.
"We have a ways to go, but I see a lot of progress that has been made from the quarterback position, not just Robert but Josh (McCown) and Austin (Davis) and Connor (Shaw) and Cody when he practiced the other day," Jackson said. "Everybody's at different levels. My job is get them all up to speed to give them the best opportunity to compete as hard as they can, as well as they can."
The Browns took to the practice fields for Day 2 of OTAs - just the second day the rookies and veterans work on field together. (All photos by John Reid)
Griffin said Jackson's open-ended stance on the position hasn't affected his confidence or ability to lead. He called it the "perfect situation" as he seeks to work for "perfection."
"Everybody has to earn everything that they get," Griffin said. "When you go out there and you perform at a high level and you show guys that they can trust you, that is when they will buy in. You don't really focus on putting together a plan to take over the team. You put together a plan to go out and execute the offense, be there for guys when they need you to be there and continue to grow and increase the camaraderie amongst your teammates.
"The way I look at it is that it is my spot and I have to go out and defend that and go out there and grow with my teammates, grow within the offense and just showcase my talent and ability, and Coach will make the decisions accordingly to how he feels."
Griffin stressed his day-to-day approach hasn't changed since the first day he arrived in Berea, not with the arrival of Kessler and certainly not whenever a pecking order is established within the quarterback room.
His motivation doesn't come from anywhere outside the Browns facility. There's simply "a target in mind, and you want to hit the target."
"I just want to get back out there, have some fun, play ball, get completions and win football games," Griffin said. "At the end of the day, all of us are focused on winning. It is not stats. It is not this area or that area. It is about winning the games."