Cleveland Browns: 6 biggest surprises from release of depth chart

PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 06: Randall Telfer
PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 06: Randall Telfer /
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Brock Osweiler, QB

It’s not a surprise Hue Jackson demoted Cody Kessler, but that Brock Osweiler was elevated to starter is enough to twirl your mustache (if you’ve got one).

Osweiler hadn’t worked with the first-team offense heading into the Browns’ Orange and Brown scrimmage Friday night. Yet, he was probably the best looking quarterback of the four competing for a roster spot in camp.

Kessler’s demotion goes against Pro Football Focus, the analytics website that gave the 2016 third-round-pick some decent marks in a season that he went 0-8 as a starter.

Kessler’s problems include holding onto the ball to long and getting passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage.

It wasn’t crazy to believe Jackson may give DeShone Kizer the chance to start in Preseason Week 1, but by elevating Osweiler, the head coach has a quarterback in place who gives the Browns a better chance to win than Kessler, while his young, promising rookie can go about absorbing all the nuances of being a newbie to the NFL.

Osweiler’s elevation to starter should be welcomed by fans, because it signals a change in the Browns philosophy. This is a franchise that’s going to try to win, now tear itself down to position it self better in the draft, or to lower its salary cap number.

Sure, you could argue free agency proved Cleveland was ready to take the next step, but until a viable quarterback was put into place, there wasn’t much excitement around the team.

Granted, plenty of fans are curbing their enthusiasm around Osweiler, but at least he’s won games in the NFL. No one’s confusing him with Bernie Kosar, and no one has the Browns making the playoffs, but with Osweiler under center, at the very least, Cleveland should be better on Sundays.