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Brock Osweiler: 'I want to be the starter of this team'

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Brock Osweiler's hyper-bumpy offseason led him from a starting gig in Houston to plenty of questions about his future in Cleveland.

The sixth-year quarterback hopes to answer those questions this season.

"I want to be the starter of this team," Osweiler said Wednesday, per NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala.

Many believed that Osweiler would simply be released following a pre-draft trade that sent the former Texans starter -- and Houston's second-round pick in 2018 -- to the Browns in what amounted to a complex and unusual salary dump.

Instead, the quarterback-needy Browns have kept Osweiler around to compete with second-year passer Cody Kessler and second-round rookie DeShone Kizer, who signed his rookie contract on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, it was Kizer who made news by seeing plenty of first-team reps on offense, per Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer. Kessler shared snaps with the starters, while Osweiler mostly worked with the second team.

Coach Hue Jackson, though, went out of his way to downplay the pecking order, saying: "We're just mixing and matching and giving guys opportunities. As I told you, I'm going to find out about guys, that's what I have to do over these next couple of days before we go to training camp."

While Kessler has been penciled in by scribes as the likely Week 1 starter, it's clear that anything can happen between now and September in Cleveland.

One can't help but wonder if Kizer could take over the role entirely, though, if he continues to progress. Hand-picked by Jackson, the former Notre Dame star "is having the normal rookie ups and downs, but it's evident the lights are coming on," Cabot wrote Tuesday.

As for Osweiler, the chance to compete is helping to wipe away memories of a terrible season in Houston, one that saw him vastly underperform after signing a massive multiyear contract with the Texans.

Word on the street suggests that Osweiler has shown sparks during minicamp, with one player telling ESPN's Adam Schefter that he "wouldn't be surprised if Brock is QB1 heading into camp in July."

"My fundamentals slipped last season ... some poor throws, poor decision-making," Osweiler acknowledged Wednesday -- and he's not wrong.

The player we saw last season was light-years away from being an NFL starter. Still, quarterbacks have nine lives in the NFL, so it's unfair to completely write off Osweiler until we see how he fits in this new system.

The bottom line in Cleveland is that none of these players would be alternating first-team reps if the Browns possessed an unquestioned starter. That decades-long search continues, and it could stay that way deep into the regular season.

The most likely scenario is that all three of these quarterbacks will see starts during Year 2 of the Jackson regime.

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