Jackson: Browns 'not even close' naming starting QB

Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson needs to see more from his grab bag of signal-callers before naming a starter.

After watching Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown and others battle it out during this week's minicamp, Jackson stated Thursday that he's "not even close" to naming a starting quarterback, per The Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot.

In May, Jackson said he might see enough from Griffin to make a decision before training camp, but it's crystal clear that none of Cleveland's passers have separated themselves.

Griffin on Wednesday acknowledged that he's used the offseason to work on sliding and getting the ball away because they were "two of the things that I didn't practice enough" with the Redskins. During minicamp, RGIII was seen sliding-a-plenty, per Cabot, and throwing a pair of balls over 16-foot fences into the yards of neighboring households.

"I'm just being coachable. You have to practice the way you play," Griffin said. "... It seems funny throwing the ball over the fence, but it's just part of the process. You have to take everything into account."

In a recent interview with The MMQB's Albert Breer, Jackson said of Griffin: "I'm not gonna say he's raw, but he is still developing. And most young quarterbacks are still developing. I'd give (former Redskins) coach (Mike) Shanahan and his son (Kyle) a lot of credit -- he came into the league and they fashioned an offense for him that worked for him. And I'd give him credit, too, coming out of the Baylor system, without the traditional footwork you play with, he produced right away."

It remains to be seen how many Griffin-esque elements will be added to Jackson's offense -- or if Griffin will even be on the field come Week 1. Still, Jackson is pleased with the progress Griffin is making toward looking more natural in the pocket.

"He's checking the ball down, throwing the ball down the field and throwing the ball into tight spaces," Jackson said. "He's improved. We all have seen that. Let's be honest, he has. There's another step. He's just getting better every day. He's just got to continue to chase that. If he does, we'll just see where he gets to. He's talented, but there is still work to be done."

Griffin is viewed as the favorite after Jackson said "it felt like the Earth moved beneath my feet" during RGIII's private workout with the team in March. Still, McCown's performance last season was hardly Cleveland's biggest flaw. And while it would be stunning to see Austin Davis and Connor Shaw make a dent in this race, Jackson was thrilled to draft former USC passer Cody Kessler, who could see meaningful snaps as a rookie depending on the level of chaos in Cleveland.

While the Browns don't want another quarterback skirmish to dominate headlines during training camp, there's no clear favorite here. Considering who's on the roster, it makes plenty of sense for this duel to be settled on the field.

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