Cody Kessler to Be Browns Starting QB at Beginning of Training Camp

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 20:  Cody Kessler #6 of the Cleveland Browns looks to pass during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson announced on Tuesday that Cody Kessler will open training camp as the team's starting quarterback. 

"Kessler will walk out there first," he said, per Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "He deserves a chance to walk out there first"

Cabot added:

"Jackson said rookie DeShone Kizer, Brock Osweiler and Kevin Hogan will also compete. In minicamp, Kessler and Kizer split reps with the starters and Osweiler worked primarily with the second-teamers. He said Kessler could remain as the No. 1 for awhile 'and it could change.' He said he'll let the quarterback competition play out in camp and 'there will be markers along the way.'"

Additionally, Jackson noted he would like to name a starter before the first preseason game but wouldn't put a timetable on a quarterback competition or rush the process, per Cabot. And he said Osweiler would have a legitimate shot to earn the starting gig, though head of football operations Sashi Brown also said "it wouldn't go against his philosophy to keep a $16 million quarterback on the bench."

Kessler, 24, appeared in nine games for the Browns in his rookie season last year, throwing for 1,380 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. The team went 1-8 in those appearances.

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Unlike Osweiler and Kizer, however, Kessler has a season of Jackson's system in his books, so it would make sense that he would earn the early reps at starter. The Browns quarterback competition appears to be wide open, however, with Osweiler having the benefit of the most NFL experience and Kizer being groomed to be the quarterback of the future.

In other words, Kessler may be taking first-team reps now, but Osweiler or Kizer seem more likely to win the starting job come September.