The situation surrounding Brock Osweiler in Cleveland is nothing short of curious and one of those actually-worth-watching stories from OTAs during a time when not that much football news is actually relevant.
You see, Osweiler initially was a throw-in for the Browns on while soaking up Osweiler's nightmare contract with their abundance of salary cap space. The Browns essentially confirmed this following the trade with a less-than-enthusiastic comment included in the press release.
"We're really excited to acquire a second-round draft choice in this trade," GM Sashi Brown said at the time. "Draft picks are extremely important to our approach in building a championship-caliber football team. We are intent on adding competition to every position on our roster and look forward to having Brock come in and compete."
were just as mild an endorsement.
"Obviously, [Osweiler is] a player on our team and we're going to treat him just like we do all of our other quarterbacks until he's not," Jackson said.
It wasor just outright release him and deal with the cap hit. As it turns out, and bring him in as part of the quarterback room. If you're going to spend $16 million on a really ugly car, you might as well see if you like driving it.
This is good news for Osweiler, because if there's a team where he can win a starting job and reverse course on his current career path, Cleveland is the spot. More succinctly: there's really nowhere to go but up for both sides.
And gradually the Browns started to come around on Osweiler. Cody Kessler will get the first opportunity to win the starting job.although he said
Osweiler's confidence has grown, with the quarterbackand pointing people to "the film" if they want to know whether or not he can be good. (Please ignore the package marked "2016.")
Fast forward to today and Osweiler isn't the only one hyping up his game. Jackson declared Osweiler a "pleasant surprise," which is easily the best thing someone not named Osweiler has said about Osweiler in the past 12 months.
"Brock's been a pleasant surprise," Jackson said. "He's done a good job. He works hard at it every day. He's into it. I think he really enjoys being here. I think he's really meshed with the other quarterbacks. He has a good feel to him."
Jackson also added that Osweiler has been "outstanding," which is the nicest thing someone not named Osweiler has said about Osweiler since the previous sentence from Jackson.
"Since he's been here, he's been outstanding," Jackson said. "I don't judge people by what everybody else says, I judge them by what I see. ... The guy's been outstanding in our building and that's what's most important."
Zac Jackson of The Athletic also said Osweiler has been the best quarterback the Browns have ... "by a bunch."
Through 2 practices that I've seen (that mean nothing big picture), Brock Osweiler has been the best QB on the field. By a bunch.— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) May 31, 2017
Not that he's been great. Or that any of them have made 2 good throws in a row in the little that I've seen. But that's what I've seen.— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) May 31, 2017
There's also some comments buried in what Jackson said that could be taken as a serious sign that Osweiler is improving. Jackson praised Osweiler having reduced the lankiness in his delivery and it becoming more "compact."
"He looks much better right now," Jackson said. "He's more compact. He's throwing the ball with a lot more velocity. He's doing a lot of good things. He needs to keep going, just like all our quarterbacks do."
This is not a battle of juggernauts in Cleveland. Kessler is a third-round pick that Jackson loved last year but had soured on a bit by the time the offseason rolled around. Kevin Hogan is a late-round pick who randomly led the league in rushing one week last year. DeShone Kizer is a second-round rookie who will eventually see playing time but is probably still a project at this point.
Osweiler is right: he can absolutely win this starting job. It might not result in the prettiest of seasons for the Browns, and it might not Texans, he'll have turned into a pretty strong investment., but if Cleveland gets anywhere from a quarter to half-season of barely below average starts out of Osweiler, plus a second-round pick from the
Please don't stand on the tracks. Or at least look before crossing.