BEREA,Ohio--The Browns have a crowded quarterback room with five quarterbacks right now, but rookie Cody Kessler is doing everything he can to make his presence known.
"That's obviously coach (Hue) Jackson's decision," Kessler said. "For me, I'm going to come in and I have always taken that mindset. I'm going to learn from these guys. Robert (Griffin III's) had a couple great seasons in the NFL and he's a guy that can still play and he's out playing every day making great throws. I love watching him and learning form him every day. Josh (McCown) just knows everything you need to know at this position and I'm learning from him.
"Austin (Davis) and Connor (Shaw) are still younger guys and we all feed off of each other and help each other out."
Jackson said Browns fans need to "trust him" with his judgment on Kessler when the Browns drafted him. Jackson said he still stands by his assessment.
“I think until you play a game… I stand behind that statement," Jackson said. "I don’t think right now is the time to evaluate the statement. I made a statement that I feel very good about. I think this young man’s future is still out in front of him and he’s working hard. He can throw the ball. He makes good decisions. He is learning the pro game. It’s a faster game, and I think he is learning that, but he has all the talent and the ability that I thought he had when we drafted him. That phrase that I used, I guess, will go down in the history of me being here at the Cleveland Browns, but I think that will be evaluated as we go. I don’t think we have to answer that one right today.”
Kessler said all that he can do is control what he does and how he takes advantage of the opportunities given to him.
"For me, all I can do is go out and compete," he said. "All that I can control is how I play on the field and how well I take advantage of every opportunity I get. No matter what happens, at the end of the day, whatever the decision is (on the starting quarterback), I'm going to still treat myself as the starter. Whether I am or not, no matter what happens, I'm going to take the mindset as the starter."
Kessler said the minicamp and OTA's have been very competitive, among the quarterbacks.
"It's been real competitive here with guys that want to compete," Kessler said. "Josh is a seasoned vet, and he's a little hard on me, but he's helped me out a lot at the same time. He knows more than all of us and tells us everything we need to know. Robert has been the same way.
"It's been really competitive, especially when we get routes on air and when we do seven-on-seven drills," he said. "For me, I'm still learning.When I get in there I want to make the most of the reps that I get."
Kessler, who is one of three Browns draft choices yet to sign, is looking forward to seeing where he stacks up with the rest of the quarterbacks on the team heading into training camp.
"For me, the time we get to compete is when i get to throw against them," he said. "As a rookie, to keep competing and growing for me, the time we get to compete is when we get to throw against one another. It's going to be really cool in this minicamp and going into training camp to see where I stand against these guys who've been in the NFL. Hopefully, i continue to grow and learn from them."
The competition will likely carry into training camp as Jackson said he doesn't intend on naming his starting quarterback any time soon.
“I think everyone here is waiting for Hue Jackson to say, ‘Here is the quarterback of our football team,’ " he said. "That’s not going to happen and I’ve already told you that. I feel very comfortable where our players are and what they're doing. I’m not in a rush, like everybody else wants me to be in a rush. I think I’ve been up here the last three or four times and it always leads back to if I am going to make a decision about the quarterback.
"I just think it is way too soon," he said. "It’s not that I can’t see enough, but I’m kind of old school. I just know how I want this position to play for this organization, this city and for the football team. I’m not going to say it’s going to be all pads, but there is just a certain feeling you get when you know. Do I think guys are working towards it? Yeah, there are guys working extremely hard. I think the guys are happy with the progress. I expect a lot out of this position. This is not some fly-by-night, just hand a job to somebody. This job is earned, and it’s earned through trust, it’s earned through leadership, it’s earned through repetition and guys understanding the process of what it takes to play that position in this league week in and week out, day in and day out.”