Browns name Brock Osweiler starting QB for preseason opener

For most teams the “starter” for a team’s first preseason game is actually not the starter. Typically a coach looks to protect his solidified veteran or blue chip rookie saving first reps the following week. But Cleveland is far from having a cemented quarterback situation so the news that Brock Osweiler will be starting the team’s first preseason affair against New Orleans Thursday suggests he is the frontrunner.

That Osweiler has even had the opportunity to compete against Cody Kessler and rookie DeShone Kizer is astonishing. As Houston’s high priced starter last season Osweiler had a tumultuous year fraught with issues that were both mechanical and personality driven. The Texans had seen enough and in March the Browns acquired Osweiler and his $16 million dollar salary in exchange for a 2018 second round pick. It was widely believed that the Browns made the move solely to reach the minimum salary cap figure and would be releasing Osweiler at its first opportunity.

But the downtrodden quarterback impressed Browns personnel during the offseason program, and that has certainly continued in training camp.

“I was really pleased with his progression. I was really pleased with the offensive line giving him time, and he was able to shift and move. Brock has really improved,” Browns head coach Hue Jackson said last week. “I go back and watch his tape often, and he has really made a lot of strides that way – planting, rhythm, getting rid of the ball and making decisions.”

Osweiler is definitely one to watch this preseason.