Browns make it clear that Cody Kessler will compete for starting job
When quarterback Robert Griffin III signed with the Browns, the Browns made it clear that Griffin would be handed nothing. He won’t even be handed the edge over third-round rookie quarterback Cody Kessler.
In response to a suggestion during a Saturday press conference that Kessler won’t pose a threat to Griffin, Browns executive V.P. of football operations Sashi Brown advised caution: “I beg to differ with that,’' Brown said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I do think Cody is a guy that I would not want to sleep on at all if I wanted to be the starting quarterback of the Browns.
"[Kessler is] going to come in serious ready to work. Robert has four years of NFL experience, is tremendously athletic and serious about becoming a starting quarterback in this league. There’s no reason he can’t, but this is going to be a competition.’'
Even if Griffin has the edge, it’s smart for the Browns to create the impression that Griffin will have to compete. He arrived in Washington with the presumption that he’d be “the guy.” Now, he’s just “a guy” -- and he needs to regard himself that way.
“We truly believe in competition here,’' Brown said. “We’re realistic about where our roster is at that slot and we want to find a long-term answer. It’s as critical for everything we’re going to do here. We’ll give them an opportunity to compete and the best quarterback is going to start for us period. We’ll roll the ball out and see who’s the best at throwing it.’'
The candidates for the starting job are Griffin, Kessler, Josh McCown, and Connor Shaw. Which means that part of the competition will consist of determining which of the four won’t be on the team come September.