The opportunity to take command of the Cleveland Browns offense has presented itself to Brock Osweiler.
The Kalispell quarterback was named the team’s preseason starter leading up to the Aug. 10 game against the New Orleans Saints. The former Flathead Brave is fighting to keep his NFL career on track after being dumped by the Houston Texans in the offseason and shipped to Cleveland, home to a floundering franchise that has struggled mightily and started 14 different quarterbacks in the last five seasons.
Both Osweiler and the Browns would like fresh starts, and so far the prognosis is more optimistic than not. This summer, Osweiler has received positive reviews, at least compared to Cleveland’s other QB contenders, Cody Kessler and DeShone Kizer. In the most recent scrimmages, he showed improvement in his accuracy and scoring ability, two problems that have haunted the 6-foot-7 signal caller during his tenure as a starter.
In announcing the team’s depth chart, Browns head coach Hue Jackson said the job is Osweiler’s, for now, but the opportunity to start for Cleveland in the regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10 remains up for grabs.
“Brock hasn’t really gotten any first-team reps, and this will give him that chance,” Jackson said, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We look forward to seeing what he can do with this opportunity throughout the week and against the Saints.”
Osweiler has been on quite the rollercoaster ride since signing a four-year, $72 million deal to become the Houston Texans’ franchise quarterback a year ago. Last season, Osweiler helped lead the Texans to the playoffs but struggled at times, forcing Houston to bench him at one point for Tom Savage.
In his first year as a full-time starter, he was 8-6 and finished with 2,957 passing yards and 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He completed 59 percent of his passes.
In March, the Texans essentially gave away Osweiler, trading the high-priced QB, a second-round draft pick in 2018 and a sixth-round pick in 2017. Although the Texans only received a 2017 fourth-round pick in return, they were able to get rid of Osweiler’s hefty contract.
The Browns were 1-15 last season. Rumors circulated that Cleveland would cut or trade Osweiler, but the 26-year-old has proven his worth so far.
“Not only do I feel capable of playing the way I did in 2015, I think I can play a lot better. Not a little better, a lot better. So I’m very excited about the potential this season,” he told the Plain Dealer.
So far, the Browns are buying in and seem excited. Check out this video produced by the team’s social media team:
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 7, 2017