USC Football alum Cody Kessler may not exactly be playing for the greatest NFL team but Kessler is currently the man to beat on the Cleveland Browns depth chart. Kessler was third on the depth chart as a rookie a season ago behind starter Robert Griffin III and backup Josh McCown. After RG3 and McCown got hurt Kessler ended up starting 8 games in Cleveland despite battling injuries of his own.
Kessler did not get many quality reps last offseason as the team was attempting to get RG3 ready to be the starter and McCown taking the second string reps. With RG3 and McCown both now gone, Kessler has stepped up in the starting role during OTA or “organized team activities. The Browns elder statesman of sorts (he’s been with the Browns through 20 different starting quarterbacks in Cleveland, seriously 20) offensive tackle Joe Thomas had high praise and high expectations for Kessler. Cleveland beat writer Terry Pluto spoke to Thomas about Kessler. Thomas went into great detail about Kessler is likely going to make a huge leap this offseason.
Joe Thomas is not the only member of the Browns organization that is high on Cody Kessler, their head coach Hue Jackson has openly stated that right now Kessler is the man to beat for the starting quarterback job.
Currently on the Browns roster are several quarterbacks USC Trojans fans should be familiar with. First there is Stanford Cardinal alum Kevin Hogan as well as newly drafted Notre Dame Fighting Irish alum DeShone Kizer and Arizona State Sun Devils alum Brock Osweiler who the Browns received a second round draft pick from the Houston Texans as compensation for taking on Osweiler’s bloated contract.
Kessler was asked by the Cleveland press what he thought about his head coach telling the press that he was the guy to beat and he responded exactly how you would expect:
“I mean obviously it is a sense of confidence you get in going into that but at the same time I just look at it as an opportunity and the other three guys are great quarterbacks you know Brock, and DeShone, and Kevin. It’s going to be a really good competition but like I said for your coach to say that it obviously gives you some confidence but at the same time I just look at that as another opportunity being able to go out there and be with the ones and get some good reps that I didn’t necessarily get last year in OTA’s being a rookie and not working with the first group. So this year is something that like I said is an opportunity and chance to go out there and run with the guys that are going to be out there on the field.”
Kessler is focusing on taking full advantage of the opportunity and improving his game in any way he can, that even includes eating the same bland diet every single day.
Kessler seems to be doing all of the right things to earn his shot as a starting NFL quarterback, but the Cleveland Browns certainly have a sad history of quarterbacks. Whether or not Kessler can reverse that trend remains to be seen.