Friday, May 26, 2017

One goal in mind for Osweiler

If he weren’t so serious about it, one might think Brock Osweiler was joking his about chances of being the Browns’ starting quarterback against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season opener on Sept. 10.

As recently as a month ago, the big quarterback was still rumored to be on his way out of Cleveland, the pawn in an earlier trade with the Houston Texans that added another second-round choice in next year’s college draft.

From the day the trade was announced, the general feeling was Osweiler would never take a snap with the Browns. The club somehow would find a way to unload his extraordinarily corpulent contract.

So the fact he is still with the team is somewhat of an upset. Not only that, but in the conversation as a viable candidate to not only play well enough to make the final roster, but possibly start.

Earlier this week at the team’s OTAs in Berea, Osweiler said he expects to be the man under center against the Steelers. And why not?

First of all, he is certainly not going to come out and say submissively he is conceding the job to Cody Kessler, coach Hue Jackson’s first choice to win the job. Like he said, “If I came out here and told you guys I wanted to be the backup, I’m in the wrong business.”

Certainly not the kind of attitude a coach – or his teammates, for that matter – want to see from someone playing the most important position on the team.

“The facts are I’m here,” Osweiler told reporters. “I’m playing football. I love being a Cleveland Brown and it has been great to work with coach Jackson and  (quarterbacks) coach (David) Lee. I’ve grown so much this spring.”

He said all the right things about Cleveland and the team’s organization, probably because he is thrilled to be out of Houston and as far away as he can be from Texans coach Bill O’Brien, with whom he battled before being benched last year in his lone season with the Texans.

Jackson, meanwhile, is taking a conservative approach with Osweiler, compared to his much more positive stance with regard to Kessler and rookie DeShone Kizer. “His role is to come in here every day, compete, get better, learn our system, fit into our culture and try to make it better that what it has been,” he said.

The five-year National Football League veteran has been around long enough to know what to say and when to say it and more important, when to keep his mouth shut and stick to football.

He is still a long way from his goal of becoming the Browns’ starting quarterback, though, but apparently heading in the right direction. From this point on, what happens on the field (in minicamps, training camp and exhibition games) will be the great dictator in Jackson’s final decision.

All Osweiler wants is a fair shot even though it appears his coach is currently leaning, if one correctly reads between the lines, toward Kessler, the pro sophomore. How much -- or whether -- that changes depends strictly on what happens in the next three months.

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