CLEVELAND -- “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Cody Kessler lives by that credo when it comes to his football career, and after preparing as the starter since joining the team via a third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, he sees no reason to change that approach, even with his first NFL start on the horizon against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium Sunday.
Kessler is in line to be the Browns’ 26th starting quarterback since their return to the NFL in 1999 because Robert Griffin III (broken bone in left shoulder) and Josh McCown (left shoulder/collarbone injury) are unable to play. Griffin is out for at least seven more weeks, while McCown will be unable to play for a yet-to-be determined amount of time.
“There was no plan for it, but the only plan you can have is your process,” Kessler said. “Like I said after the game on Sunday, I just stick to my process. I have been preparing as a starter since I got here -- since rookie minicamp, really -- and you never know when an opportunity will come and when a chance will come your way, but the last thing you want to do is not be ready.
“For me, I have been preparing this way the whole time and just staying focused. I have been so fortunate to learn from Josh and Robert, and Coach (Hue) Jackson has been helping me out a ton. For me, it’s just, like I said, sticking to my process and continuing to prepare.”
When asked if six days is enough for him to get a handle on the entire playbook ahead of the game against the Dolphins, Kessler said he will do whatever is required for the offense, and the Browns as a whole, to be successful.
“The game plan is going to be put in by Coach Jackson and they are going to put in what is best for us to have an opportunity to win,” Kessler said. “I am going to go ahead and whatever that is, just learn it throughout the week and continue to stick to it.
“For me, it is just to continue to prepare, and whatever the game plan happens to be and whatever happens on Sunday or whatever we are going in there with the thought process of, I am going to do everything I can to be ready throughout the week so nothing gets thrown at me that I am not ready for.”
For Kessler, “nothing” will be different for him despite being named the Browns’ starting quarterback
“Coach Jackson just came into the meeting and told us about Robert and about Josh, and the only thing he really said to me was just ‘Stay ready. Be prepared and stay ready,’” Kessler said. “All I can do is continue to work on that and continue to go with that, prepare this week and continue with my process and just compete.
“That is what I got brought here to do, compete and be a competitor. That is something since I first got here in rookie minicamp that I have wanted to do and continue to prepare as a starter and just be ready to go.”