While Robert Griffin III‘s shoulder injury serves as a significant detriment to his hopes at resurrecting his once-promising career, some with the Browns don’t view it as too damaging to their current team. With Hue Jackson focused on reprogramming Griffin into an above-average quarterback, some Browns staffers view the injury as something that can help the franchise move on and begin assessing its future at the position, Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com report.
Browns sources told the veteran reporters third-round pick Cody Kessler is “not close” to being ready to debut, and expectations for the USC product aren’t particularly high. So, as 37-year-old Josh McCown prepares to return to the starting lineup, the team will continue to scout for its future. Should Kessler make a start this season, he’ll be the franchise’s 26th starting quarterback since its 1999 rebirth. That total leads the league.
Interestingly, the new regime’s last such scouting job revealed a dislike for two of the league’s hot-starting passers, Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott, while Cleveland’s new decision-makers liked Griffin, Kessler and Jared Goff, per Schefter and Mortensen.
Here’s more from Cleveland as its football team prepares to play the old Browns in Week 2.
- McCown offered a reasonable plea, per Schefter and Mortensen, against the notion the Browns should tank for 2017 this season. The veteran quarterback and second-year Brown believed the team owed it to veterans like Joe Thomas to make a legitimate effort to compete in 2016.
- Thomas, meanwhile, did not push the Browns to trade him to the Broncos last season due to the loyalty they showed him since making him the No. 3 overall pick in 2007, the ESPN duo reports. The six-time All-Pro’s name could well resurface on the trade block this season if the Browns perform as they’re expected to, especially since so few veterans are going to play for them this season.
- Speaking of trades, former Browns running back Terrance West asked the team to be traded before last season, West said on the BmoreOpinionated podcast (via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal). The Browns’ previous regime did end up trading West to the Titans, although it’s not known if it came as a result of the running back’s request. The current Ravens ball-carrier believes he’d still be with the Browns if he hadn’t asked to be dealt. “I think if I didn’t call for a trade, I would be still in Cleveland right now,” West said. “I was the leading rusher that year. I was the leading rusher in that preseason. I called for a trade. I didn’t think that was home for me.” West, though, saw the Titans cut him after he made only 16 rushing attempts last season. Ulrich writes attitude problems and shaky practice habits marred the former third-round pick’s time in Cleveland. He’s set to play a bigger role this season, as evidenced by the Ravens giving him 14 touches in Week 1. West rushed for 673 yards as a rookie to lead the Browns as a rookie in 2014, ahead of current starter Isaiah Crowell‘s 607.
- While Jackson’s initial effort in northeast Ohio isn’t expected to go well, the first-year coach made some bold proclamations about the franchise’s future.