CLEVELAND -- Veteran quarterback Brock Osweiler had an up-and-down debut with the Cleveland Browns in their 20-14 victory over the New Orleans Saints in the preseason opener at FirstEnergy Stadium Thursday night.
But to coach Hue Jackson, sans the scoring drought, Osweiler and the first-team offense did what was expected of them against the Saints.
“I wasn’t expecting perfection,” Jackson said after the win. “I was expecting our team to compete and have an opportunity to win the game. That is what we did.
“We all as coaches -- every coach in there as we talked earlier in the week -- we knew when this thing was over there was going to be a lot to correct and get better at. We are competing against each other every day. When you start playing other teams, you find out the warts you have so that you can fix those. That is what we have to do as a football staff.”
On the first drive of the game, Osweiler missed on both of his pass attempts, as wide receiver Corey Coleman appeared to run the wrong route on the first play of the game, and then, a throw sailed into the sideline when Osweiler was under duress on third and 12 after a false start on left tackle Cameron Erving.
The Browns did not fare much better on the second drive.
Osweiler had a four-yard pass to Coleman, but it was negated by an illegal block above the waist on fellow wide receiver Kenny Britt. After hitting a nine-yard pass to running back Duke Johnson on the next play, Osweiler missed long on throws to wide receiver Ricardo Louis and tight end Seth DeValve.
On the third drive, a holding penalty on right tackle Shon Coleman backed up the Browns into a second-and-17 situation, and they gained only eight yards over the next two snaps before punting the ball away.
On a 13-play drive in the second quarter, Osweiler completed five of his 11 attempts for 25 yards and drew a pair of penalties, one for defensive pass interference, and the other for offsides before his final attempt of the game.
“He can make those plays,” Jackson said. “I didn’t see much separation from our guys, too. It goes both ways. I don’t want to make it all about the quarterback. I don’t want to make it all about the receivers. There is some work, as I said earlier, as a football team that we need to do and we have to do in order to get better.”
Overall, Osweiler completed six of his 14 attempts for 42 yards, and rushed for 10 yards on a scramble out of the pocket to the left side of the formation. After three straight three-and-outs to start the game, Osweiler led the 13-play, 61-yard drive, but a deflected pass at the goal line on fourth down spoiled the effort.
The first-team offense accounted for 76 yards with Osweiler at the helm.
“This was one week,” Jackson said of the quarterback evaluation. “I never told you guys this is how it was going to be from here on in. I said I am going to evaluate this after a week and see where we are. This was for this game on Thursday night against New Orleans. We will see where we are for next week.”
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