Browns move 3-way quarterback battle to stadium stage

FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2016, file photo, Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson watches players warm up for an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns have moved their quarterback competition to a larger stage.

Cleveland’s three-way battle between Cody Kessler, rookie DeShone Kizer and Brock Osweiler resumed at FirstEnergy Stadium, the team’s lakefront home where the tricky winds can wreak havoc with even the tightest spirals. Kessler, who started eight games last season as a rookie, has taken most of the snaps with Cleveland’s starting offense in training camp and he remains the presumptive favorite to start the season opener on Sept. 11 against Pittsburgh.

FILE – From left are 2017 file photos showing Cleveland Browns quarterbacks Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler and DeShone Kizer during practice at the NFL football team’s training camp in Berea, Ohio. The Browns’ three-way quarterback competition moves onto a larger stage as the team conducts a scrimmage at FirstEnergy Stadium, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

However, Kizer, the second-round pick from Notre Dame, has closed the gap with some big plays in camp.

Coach Hue Jackson would ideally like to name his starter before an exhibition opener against New Orleans next week.

The Browns, who went 1-15 last season, have been searching for a franchise quarterback for years. Jackson knows the team can’t take the next step in its rebuild until it finds one.

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