BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The most anticlimactic quarterback competition in Browns history officially came to an end Monday morning.
Browns head coach Hue jackson named Robert Griffin III the team’s starter for the upcoming 2016 season. Jackson, who indicated Saturday that he was “very close” to an announcement stayed true to his word that a decision would come before the team’s preseason opener Friday night at Green Bay.
“It’s time,” Jackson said in a statement released by the team. “Robert has earned the right to be named the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns,” Jackson said. “Since he was signed back in March, Robert has made it clear through his actions that he is willing to do everything that has been asked of him to earn this role.
“Throughout this process he has gained the respect from his teammates, the coaching staff and the entire organization that is necessary for him to lead our offense and really the entire team.”
Griffin beat out last year’s veteran Josh McCown for the job and is slated to be the 25th different starting QB and 14th different week 1 starter for the franchise since 1999.
“It’s now on Robert to show the organization and our fans that this is the right decision,” jackson said. “Throughout the offseason program and training camp, Robert has shown improvement every day and we expect him to continue to ascend as he becomes more and more acclimated to the offensive system we will employ this season. I’ve been crystal clear on what we expect from Robert. He fully understands the responsibility and I feel he is ready to handle this role.”
Griffin received the vast majority of snaps with the first team offense during OTAs, 2 minicamps and the first 8 practices of training camp while McCown worked with the second unit. Rookie Cody Kessler and Austin Davis worked with the third unit.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t also commend Josh, Austin and Cody,” Jackson said. “Josh in particular has been outstanding throughout this process and all of our quarterbacks have worked well together. Their play, professionalism and work ethic has pushed the room to really improve the level of play at the position for our team.”
The Browns signed Griffin to a 2-year, $15 million deal on March 24 in the hopes they could resurrect his career which became derailed due to injuries and conflict within the Redskins organization since the franchise gave up multiple first round draft picks for the right to pick him second overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Griffin led the Redskins to a 9-7 record and NFC east title as a rookie before tearing his right ACL in a playoff loss to Seattle. After sustaining a concussion in the preseason, Kirk Cousns took over starting duties for Washington and the former Heisman Trophy winner did not play a single snap during the regular season last year.