Cleveland Browns: Assessing Cody Kessler’s current situation

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler began training camp as the top guy, but it appears as if he may be the odd man out for the starting job.

The 2017 Cleveland Browns offseason had a familiar theme.

The constant focus was on the quarterback position, so Hue Jackson decided to bring some stability by naming Cody Kessler as the top quarterback heading into training camp. But it was hard to expect that to last long.

The narrative of the Browns trading Brock Osweiler at any moment faded as it was clear the team was sticking with him, and that narrative seemed to be driven by the media in the first place. To be fair, it was hard to expect writers and Browns fans alike to be comfortable with Osweiler as the team’s starting quarterback.

Yet he remains and after not too much time, he overtook Kessler as the top guy, receiving the start in Thursday’s preseason opener. Hue Jackson tried to explain the decision by saying it would give Kessler and DeShone Kizer more playing time, but that proved to be false as well.

While Kizer played the entire second half, Kessler only got to play a few drives in the second quarter, although he did lead the offense on a touchdown drive.

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Playing time in the preseason isn’t important for quarterbacks on nearly any other NFL team, but it is for the Browns quarterbacks who are in the midst of an open competition.

Hue Jackson knows what he has with Kessler, but his lack of playing time still didn’t inspire much confidence in Kessler’s chances of being the starter this season.

As of this moment, Osweiler looks to be the favorite, at least to open the season. Not necessarily to be the starter for all 16 games.

But if Kizer keeps lighting it up, against any level of defensive talent, there is a strong chance Jackson could decide to go with the rookie.

Yet there isn’t a scenario in which Kessler appears to be the favorite. What he lacks in size can be found in both Osweiler and Kizer, while what he lacks in strength was shown off by the rookie quarterback in the second half of Thursday’s win.

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This is a fluid situation and anything can happen, but Kessler appears to be the third option at quarterback heading into the year. For those Kessler supporters, he was also the third option a year ago, and we saw how quickly he got to start a game.