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Cody Kessler: 2016 Experience Guided Offseason Training

In an interview with Nathan Zegura after Wednesday’s OTA session, Kessler made it clear that starting games in 2016 helped his development.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
Cody Kessler gets ready to throw a pass against the Baltimore Ravens on November 10th, 2016
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In case anyone at DBN was wondering whether Cody Kessler subscribes to the ‘start rookie quarterbacks ASAP’ school of thought, we now have the answer. In an interview with Nathan Zegura after Wednesday’s OTA session, Kessler made it clear that starting games in 2016 helped his development:

“You can sit in a film room, an air conditioned room, and watch it over and over but until you get on the field and these guys are coming after you and you have to stay cool under pressure, it’s a whole different level. And that’s why I was so excited that I got that experience last year.”

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
Cody Kessler takes an unfortunate hit from Lawrence Timmons on Nov 20, 2016.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

While Kessler took a few too many hard hits for the comfort of many Browns fans in 2016, he was very clear about the benefits of having faced “live bullets” and how exactly he has leveraged that experience to enhance his offseason regimen:

“Obviously, there’s a lot of things I wish I had done better but I’m excited I can learn from those. What I did this offseason was put all those down on paper, because those are the things I want to get better at ... and watched each game over and over. You can get more specific with how you train and how you work on different things in the offseason.”

Kessler also told Zegura how he felt making his debut:

“My first series I had, you know, a delay of game, a fumbled snap. I was almost glad it happened. I got like a dead leg or something, it almost took my mind off of the atmosphere and everything. I was just thinking this is football.”

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
Kessler launches a pass against the Ravens on Nov 10, 2016.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Some other quick hits from the interview:

  • Staying connected with rookie receivers from his draft class. Kessler threw in the offseason to Jordan Payton, Rashard Higgins. Spends extra time in the film room with Ricardo Louis.
  • Thinks JC Tretter has been a great addition to the line: he makes the right calls on protection and will help keep space in the pocket to step into his throws.
  • Excited about the signing of Zeitler, and extensions to Joel Bitonio, Christian Kirksey, and Jamie Collins. Believes “guys want to be here” now.
  • Feels that Gregg Williams is “one of the players but he’s a coach” and that he brings a lot of energy on the field and in the meeting rooms. Told Zegura that he has a habit of visiting the QB room to “give a little trash talk and then walk out” but that he’s also serious about off the field help and guidance around protections and recognizing blitzes. Kessler said there’s a big difference as compared to Ray Horton’s defense as Williams is bringing “so much pressure” and “creates chaos.”

If you like hearing from Kessler, I strongly recommend you listen to the whole interview which can be found in the second half of the May 31st Cleveland Browns Daily radio show. There’s a lot more content. The session closes with an entertaining story about Kessler’s recent golf caddie which is definitely worth checking out.