Despite the sentiment that Osweiler's experience as a sometimes-above-replacement-level starter in the right offense would help him rise to the top of an underwhelming depth chart, head coach Hue Jackson laid out a portion of his battle plan on Monday.
"The first day you might see the young guy with me the whole time. There's a lot of different things we're going to do ... when I'm talking about the young guy, I'm talking about DeShone [Kizer]," Jackson told Cleveland.com. "Because I want to make sure I have my hand on him as much as I can. It's not by rotation or anything. Cody's going to walk out there first and he's gotta keep that job, and he's gotta do everything the right way in order to continue to lead the first team. The other guys will get opportunities as well, and I think that's the way you have to do this if it's a competition."
While Kizer might not have been the No. 1 quarterback on Cleveland's offseason wish list, he has incredible size and arm strength. He'll need time to be conditioned by Jackson but sounds as though he has the head coach's attention.
Kizer is Jackson's first real chance to attach his name to a quarterback with long-term starter potential since Joe Flacco (Jackson was the Ravens' quarterbacks coach in 2008 and 2009). While he did fantastic work with Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, this is a ground-up project that energizes coaches like Jackson, who enjoy the quarterback whisperer title.
Does that leave Osweiler as the Browns' third-string quarterback? They could always be holding on to the former second-round pick with the hope they can flip him for a draft asset late in the summer. But what happens if there is an unusually clean training camp for the league's premier passers?