BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson named quarterback Brock Osweiler the starter for Thursday night’s preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints at FirstEnergy Stadium with the caveat being that his regular-season starting job is still open.
With that fact in mind, Osweiler is focused on “controlling the controllables” heading into the second week of training camp and the opening game of the preseason. And for however long Jackson plays the starters Thursday, Osweiler wants to be consistent, productive and able to move the offense down the field.
“The key is to make the most out of whatever snaps you get,” Osweiler said. “Whether it’s five plays, 15 plays, 25 plays, 50 plays, it’s always making the most of that play, and when that play’s done, put it behind you and make the most of the next play, and that’s what I’m going to try to do Thursday night.”
Over 36 career games in five NFL seasons, four with the Denver Broncos and one with the Houston Texans, Osweiler completed 488 of his 815 attempts (59.9 percent) for 5,083 yards and 26 touchdowns against 22 interceptions.
In his final season with the Broncos, Osweiler completed 170 of his 275 attempts (61.8 percent) for 1,967 yards and 10 touchdowns against six interceptions, but when given the chance to start without a challenge in Houston, he struggled mightily.
Although the Texans won the AFC South Division in 2016 and beat the Oakland Raiders in the Wildcard Round of the postseason, the 6-foot-8, 235-pound Osweiler completed 301 of his 510 attempts for 2,957 yards and 15 touchdowns against 16 interceptions in 15 games.
“My mindset of how I approach things isn’t going to change,” Osweiler said. “There was a coach that once told me, ‘Be the same guy every day,’ and that’s what I’ve tried to do, whether I was the backup or the starter. That’s what I’m going to continue to do, so nothing’s going to change, just the group that I’m working with.
“As you probably already noticed in our walk-through, there’s a lot of communication going on. We’re having some great football conversations and are really trying to dial things in so we can go out there and have a good Thursday night against the Saints.”
Knowing that a rookie, DeShone Kizer, is hot on his heels and last year’s starter, Cody Kessler, has an added level of motivation after being demoted from the first-team offense, Osweiler wants to show his worth to the coaching staff and front office five months after it seemed he would not even make it to training camp with the team when his acquisition was the last sentence of a Browns-issued press release praising a deal that landed them an additional second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
“I’m always going to try to go out there and play the best football I can possibly play,” Osweiler said. “Anytime you step foot on the field, whether it’s a walk-through, a practice, a scrimmage or a game, you’re always trying to put your best product on the field.
“You’re fighting for jobs, and it’s a very competitive league, so you always need to put your best foot forward. You always need to be getting better. There was a coach that once said, ‘If you’re not getting better, you’re getting replaced,’ and that’s really how I believe this league works. And so, every, single day when I step on the field, whether it’s game or practice, I’m trying to be the best possible quarterback I can be.”
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