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Browns: 'Don't sleep' on Kessler competing to start

When the Cleveland Browns drafted Cody Kessler in the third round on Friday night, our initial thought was that it ensured Robert Griffin III's place atop the depth chart.

Sashi Brown disagrees with the assumption that Kessler doesn't pose a threat to RGIII.

"I beg to differ with that," Brown said Saturday night, via The Plain Dealer. "I do think Cody is a guy that I would not want to sleep on at all if I wanted to be the starting quarterback of the Browns.

"He's going to come in serious ready to work. Robert has four years of NFL experience, is tremendously athletic and serious about becoming a starting quarterback in this league. There's no reason he can't, but this is going to be a competition."

Brown acknowledged Griffin's two-year, $15 million contract underscores the franchise's faith in a turnaround for the quarterback, but the head of football operations cited the competition mantra for his belief that Kessler -- or Josh McCown for that matter -- has a chance to wrangle the starting gig away from RGIII.

"We truly believe in competition here," Brown said. "We're realistic about where our roster is at that slot and we want to find a long-term answer. It's as critical for everything we're going to do here.

"We'll give them an opportunity to compete and the best quarterback is going to start for us period. We'll roll the ball out and see who's the best at throwing it."

It's fine for Brown to create expectations for Kessler, especially following Hue Jackson's comments that we should "trust" him that the USC quarterback can be more than a weak-armed backup. The rookie, however, has a lot of developing to do under Jackson before he snags the starting gig from RGIII.

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