Cleveland Browns to Cody Kessler: Go play our offense

CLEVELAND -- There are hundreds of things that need to be done over the course of a football game to be successful, but when talking with rookie quarterback Cody Kessler, Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson kept things simple.

After having to elevate the rookie to starter in just the third week of the regular season following injuries in back-to-back weeks to Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown, Jackson wants Kessler to remain singularly focused on one goal: “Go play our offense” when they take the field against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium Sunday.

“I think he feels good about where he is,” Jackson said. “He is in this building from morning to night. We have to kick him out. That is just the way he is. He sees this as a tremendous opportunity for himself, and I think he wants to go represent himself and the organization and his teammates well. He is preparing as hard as he can to get himself ready to play.

“I think there are a lot of lessons learned a lot of different ways. Obviously, we all know there is nothing like playing the game. He is going to get that opportunity this weekend, and I’m looking forward to watching him play.”

During the preseason, Kessler completed 19 of his 28 pass attempts for 92 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions, but was sacked seven times for 42 lost yards, including a pair of safeties in the exhibition opener against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

“I can’t tell you what is going to happen on Sunday,” Kessler said. “All I can tell you is we have a game on Sunday, and he is going to go out there and play, so the fans will be able to judge it then. Whether they feel good about it or bad about it, they are entitled to feel the way they want to feel, and I understand that.”

Jackson is not worried about Kessler being “too prepared” for the game against the Dolphins. Rather, he expects and demands the first-year signal-caller will play within his skill set.

“You don’t have to do more than what you need to do,” Jackson said. “You are just a part of this. Obviously, he has to manage himself. I can’t manage a man that way. He has to manage himself. He has played at a high level in a big-time college program.

“There is nothing like playing in the National Football League. For me not to understand that he will be amped up and ready to go, but at the same time, I think he knows there are a bunch of other guys on the other side that are after him. That is just life in the National Football League as a quarterback. He will be ready to go.”


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