Cleveland Browns: There will be no QB controversy in 2016
The selection of Cody Kessler in the 2016 NFL Draft has taken away the possibility of a QB controversy for the Cleveland Browns this season.
The Cleveland Browns have had a bad habit in the recent past of drafting quarterbacks and putting them on the field before they were ready, or even capable of leading an NFL team.
Brandon Weeden was the starter Week 1 in his rookie season, while Johnny Manziel was tabbed to start at the end of his rookie season. Colt McCoy and Charlie Frye are two names that could join the list, although both gave fans a few glimpses of hope in otherwise forgetful seasons.
The way of thinking since 1999 seemed to be that a rookie quarterback should be brought in and put on the field as soon as possible, learning the game as he goes.
This mindset has changed with the new group in the front office. The first step was not trading Josh McCown. He is still a solid option as a starter while the rest of the team rebuilds, and also serves as a great mentor to any quarterback brought onto the roster.
The next step was signing Robert Griffin III, who looks like the favorite to win the starting job in 2016. He is looking to revive his career in Cleveland, and joins a team with low expectations for this season.
There were too many instances in the past where the team was looking for instant success, instead of understanding the process that comes with going from the bottom of the standings to the top.
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Griffin and McCown are both solid options, with any great successes being a pleasant surprise for the organization and fans alike.
But the Browns had a chance to go after that hope of an instant turnaround when holding the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
All the talk following the 2015 season focused on whether the Browns were more interested in Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. The signing of Griffin, along with the talk of drafting one of the two quarterbacks, made it seem like the team was headed for another year of a quarterback controversy, where one player plays poorly once and is sent to the bench in favor of another.
This kind of turnover at the quarterback position can ruin a team for years, which is something Browns fans know well.
But then the team made the trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to move down to the No. 8 spot in the first round, effectively ending any talk of Goff or Wentz coming to Cleveland.
The Browns instead went with USC QB Cody Kessler in the third round. Kessler was not the option some wanted, but he is someone Hue Jackson believes in and knows he can work with.
Kessler is not someone who will challenge Griffin or McCown for the starting job in 2016, and will actually be given time to learn under the two.
If the Browns had stayed with the No. 2 pick, Carson Wentz may be a Cleveland Brown right now. There would be pressure for him to start whenever the team struggled, even though he would be at a disadvantage based on the team’s current state of rebuilding.
Trading out of the No. 2 pick gave the Browns more selections in the draft, and allowed the team to be focused on as a whole instead of committing a lot of money and expectations to one player.
The selection of Kessler gave Jackson someone he can work with for several years, while also eliminating the possibility of him being questioned after each game as to when a quarterback change will be made.
Even if Griffin or McCown struggle, there is much more to focus on than just the quarterback position in 2016.