BEREA, Ohio -- During the course of the three-day mini-camp, Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine saw flashes of what made quarterback Vince Young the No. 3 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Young showed enough flashes to be signed to a one-year contract after Thursday's practice.
"He took off and ran for a first down and we've just finished up a rack of third-down plays here," Pettine said. "You could tell he's very rusty. I was just joking with him the other day that it was falling off. Rust was falling off in large clumps.
"He flashed a couple times, threw a nice long ball the other day. You don't realize how big he is until you stand next to him. We talk about all these 6-foot, 5-11 quarterbacks in the draft, and then, he comes walking out. You say, 'Oh! That's what they're supposed to look like.'"
Young was the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans and spent the first five years of his career there before moving on to join the Philadelphia Eagles. However, Young has not taken a regular-season snap since that season with the Eagles in 2011.
In his 60-game career, Young has completed 755 of 1,304 attempts for 8,964 yards with 46 touchdowns against 51 interceptions. A mobile quarterback when he came into the NFL out of the University of Texas, Young also rushed for 1,459 yards, 12 touchdowns and 85 first downs on 282 attempts.
"Any quarterback you bring on your roster, you have to make the assumption that they will have to play at some point," Pettine said. "I thought (Brian) Hoyer had the perfect answer when he said, 'Hey, I don't care whether I'm the third, fourth. I'm going to prepare as if I'm the guy that's going to play.'
"You look at the history of the league, and just look at what happened to us when I was in Buffalo a year ago. We lost (Kevin) Kolb in the preseason and E.J. (Manuel) is playing. We ended up down to our fourth quarterback. With as big and as strong and as hard as the defensive guys hit these days, you've got to be deep at that position, more so than in the past."
In addition to Young, the Browns signed veteran signal caller Tyler Thigpen and linebacker Zac Diles, who also participated in the mini-camp on a tryout basis.
"They got thrown into a tough situation," offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said of Young and Thigpen. "They just came in Tuesday, so they don't know the offense very well. We had to help them with terminology and stuff, but you've got two guys who have played in the league who have some talent. It's good to see them out there to throw it around a little bit."
Like Young, Thigpen offers a dual threat with his mobility out of the backfield. Thigpen has rushed for 469 yards and three touchdowns on 79 career carries.
"It's always a positive," Shanahan said of mobile quarterbacks. "You either can play in the league or you can't. I like guys who are NFL players, however they do that. Most guys do it with their arm. Some guys are capable to do it with their legs. If you've got a guy who can do both, then, you've got a special player.
"The goal is to move the chains. I don't care how you do it. Some ways have been more successful than others, but Tyler and Vince, they both have had some success in this league, especially Vince. It was good to get them in here and get a look."