COLUMBUS--Robert Griffin threw two touchdowns to Terrelle Pryor and Duke Johnson,Jr. as Griffin III gets closer to nailing down the Browns starting quarterback position. Griffin III unofficially was 12-of-19 with two touchdowns and no interceptions in front of 42,310 fans at Ohio Stadium as the Brown team knocked off the White team, 23-6.
Hue Jackson was asked if he's ready to name Griffin III as the starter.
“Oh, I’m close," Jackson said after the scrimmage "Very close. We’ll know here pretty soon exactly what we’re doing. I’m going to go back and talk to the people that I trust and that I spend a lot of time with making these kind of decisions, and we’ll move forward.”
That decision could come as early as Monday ad the Browns open the preseason next Friday night at Green Bay. The Browns are off Sunday and return to practice Monday.
Jackson said he's happy with Griffin III's progression.
“I think I’ve said everything every day that everyone is seeing him get better and better every day," he said. "I’m not surprised. We try to create the right environment for him to be all he can be, and he’s working extremely hard because this is something he really wants to do. Obviously, we still have work to do, but I think he’s done a great job thus far. There are still some ladders to climb, and we’re going to keep climbing them.”
Jackson said Griffin III's confidence is being restored after not playing a snap last year in Washington.
“I think the biggest area he has grown is just his confidence in playing the position," he said. "You have to know how to play quarterback in the National Football League, and with (associate head coach – offense) Pep (Hamilton) and myself, we pride ourselves on getting guys ready to play.
"He has accepted every challenge we’ve given him – all of our quarterbacks have – and I know this is about Robert, but I think all of our quarterbacks have done that. I think they’ve all gotten better."
Griffin III thinks he has the confidence, but there's more to it.
“Yeah, I don’t think it’s really about my mindset or mentality," he said. "It’s really about just what our offense is running. It’s to give everyone confidence. When you know what you’re doing, you can play confidently. When you know what to expect and you know where to go with the ball and what Coach and how he wants to play the game, how we want to play the game, it’s easy to go out and execute.
"That’s just getting a better understanding of what Coach is expecting, what he wants and why is he calling that play, why is he calling that play and then you can master the system," he said. "You can go out and lead drives. It’s been really fun to just work with everybody through this whole process.”
Coleman Dinged: After a big night Friday, WR Corey Coleman didn't take part in the scrimmage. He came out for warmups before the scrimmage, but was held out after experiencing some tightness in his hamstring.
“He’ll be fine," Jackson said. "He just had a little hamstring issue, and I just didn’t want to push it too far. We’re too close to getting ready for the season. He could have been out here if I wanted him to. It’s important to take care of our players and protect them that way.”
Drango Impressing: Rookie OL Spencer Drango continues to impress and is getting reps with the first team at right tackle.
“He’s working at it," Jackson said. "He’s one of our young players who I’m excited about. I think he has a bright future here, but as I said to all of you guys, we’re still going to continue to search and find the best five linemen up there for our football team. I think the key to our football team will be our lines, offensively and defensively. If we can continue to improve and get better, then we’ll have a chance to be where we want to be.”
Erving's Return: Jackson said that he expects OL Cameron Erving to return to practice soon.
“He will be," he said. "Oh yeah, Cam will be back very soon.”
Erving has been out since Tuesday after injuring his elbow. OL Garth Gerhart has been playing in his place.
Hughes Absent: DL John Hughes has missed the past four days for personal reasons.
Sitting Out: WR Andrew Hawkins (hamstring), WR Josh Gordon (quad), DB Joe Haden (ankle), DB Trey Caldwell (hamstring), FB Malcolm Johnson (concussion), OL Kyle Rose (leg), DL Nile Lawrence-Stample , OL Cameron Erving (elbow), TE Randall Telfer (hamstring) and TE Seth DeValve (hamstring) all sat out the scrimmage.
McCown ends Well: QB Josh McCown had an interception on his first series by DB Tracy Howard. He finished well with a 75-yard strike to WR Terrelle Pryor down the sideline for a touchdown. McCown was 3-5 unofficially with a touchdown and an interception. QB Austin Davis and QB Cody Kessler each led the White team to field goals by K Travis Coons, from 31- and 35-yards.
Payton Progressing: Rookie WR Jordan Payton had a nice 55-yard catch and run in Friday night's scrimmage and had a 26-yard catch from Griffin III to set up WR Terrelle Pryor's five-yard touchdown.
Nice Move: The Browns presented a check for $25,000 to two Columbus High Schools, Linden McKinley and West High to purchase five-start helmets for their football program.