Brock Osweiler gets the nod for Browns pre-season opener

So maybe the Cleveland Browns weren’t simply trading for a future pick when they took on Brock Osweiler’s giant contract. As the Browns stare down the opening pre-season game of the 2017 NFL season, it’s not Cody Kessler or draft pick Deshone Kizer. It’s Brock Osweiler who will be under center. The Browns released a statement from Hue Jackson.

“At this stage in the evaluation process of our quarterbacks, we are going to have Brock start the preseason opener against the Saints on Thursday night,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “A lot goes into our evaluation but it’s always going to be about efficiently and effectively running the offense. You want your starter to be able to do that despite any circumstance. Brock hasn’t really gotten any first team reps and this will give him that chance. We look forward to seeing what he can do with this opportunity throughout the week and against the Saints. Cody will be the second quarterback to take the field followed by DeShone and then Kevin. I’m pleased with the way our quarterbacks have competed and improved throughout the offseason and training camp. We are going to see a lot more of all of them this preseason and everyone in that room still has the chance to earn more opportunities and the right to lead our team as the starter when the regular season begins on September 10th.”

This isn’t a permanent thing as we all know when it comes to Cleveland Browns quarterbacks. Still, it’s not nothing.

For Cody Kessler this is a failure. He was the incumbent with the most institutional knowledge and experience in Hue Jackson’s offense. While he wasn’t exactly a juggernaut favorite, he did get the first chance in the first position. He has squandered any advantage he might have had to this point.

In contrast to Kessler, this might be a small victory for Deshone Kizer. For the rookie out of Notre Dame, it’s easy to imagine a scenario where there would have been a decided curse to go along with winning the quarterback competition. Other cursed winners have included Colt McCoy and Tim Couch, who got their brains beat in for their hard-won victories. For now, it is totally possible that Kizer could win in the long run by losing in the short run.

And good for Brock Osweiler. This is the same guy that I said the Browns should probably just cut because I thought he was a less-than-stellar guy that probably wasn’t worth the trouble for the small chance he could win some football games for the Browns. I am not ready to come off that opinion completely, but I won’t root against a guy who is proving something to Hue Jackson and the rest of his coaching staff.

So for now, Brock Osweiler is in the first position. Now it’s up to him to hold off Cody Kessler and Deshone Kizer. For Browns fans this is not a monumental piece of news as this was a competition that felt like it was won by default more than it was grabbed by a worthy winner. This is like trying to choose a third starter based on who can eat the most innings while allowing you to keep it close.