After telling NFL Network's Steve Wyche two months ago that he has "no news" on his circumstances in Cleveland, he resurfaced during organized team activities as one of four; just another quarterback competing for a starting job.
"My expectation is always to start," Osweiler said. "But once again that is not my decision to make. Now if I came out here and told you guys I wanted to be the backup then I'm in the wrong business. Absolutely I want to play and I want to help this team win games. But I know there's a lot of work that needs to go into that. And ultimately I need to earn that on the practice field and I have a lot of work ahead of me to do that."
The quote was a dignified finish to a back and forth that could have gotten uncomfortable after Osweiler's 2016 season and own personal outlook was called into question by a reporter:
Are you good enough to be a starting quarterback?
"I think the proof is in the film from the past two years."
Some people would say the proof is not in the film from last year
While the reporter was in his right to challenge Osweiler, who played below replacement level-ball last year in Houston, the exchange illustrates the no-win situation Osweiler is in. Wednesday was Osweiler doing his best to sound positive and eager despite being one of the first notable players in recent NFL history to be part of a salary-dump trade. There's a good chance coach Hue Jackson thought Osweiler would be gone by now. There's also a chance Cleveland will shop him to the first club that sustains a major injury at quarterback this preseason.
For now, Osweiler is just trying to get through it without any incidents. He wouldn't comment on reports he was a poor teammate in Houston -- "I'm sure players in Houston, you could reach out to them and ask them that question," he said -- and he's roundly praised the coaching staff. After just a handful of practices, he says he feels like a better player. It's unclear how many more times Osweiler will be made available in this fashion, but when he is, expect more of the same -- a grin-and-bear-it volley of pleasantries to help bide the time.