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Browns opt for Osweiler for preseason opener

The Associated Press

Cleveland quarterback Brock Osweiler throws during practice at the team’s training camp facility on Monday.

The Associated PressBEREA, Ohio (AP) — Brock Osweiler has risen from trade throw-in to preseason starter.

The Browns’ never-ending quarterback saga has produced yet another surprise.

Cleveland coach Hue Jackson picked Osweiler over Cody Kessler, rookie DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan to start Thursday’s exhibition opener against the New Orleans Saints in what will be an important stage in a QB competition that’s midway through its second week, with no end in sight.

Jackson said he chose Osweiler primarily because he’s got NFL experience and he wants to give both Kessler and Kizer more playing time.

“It’s best for me to trot Brock out there, see if he can go lead this offense and lead the team and in the process keep getting these young guys more reps,” Jackson said following Monday’s practice. “They just need to play. DeShone needs to play more. Cody needs to play more and Kevin needs to play more, and I thought this is the way to do it.”

As for who will start Cleveland’s opener on Sept. 10 against Pittsburgh, Jackson insisted he hasn’t made up his mind.

“This thing is not over by any stretch,” he said.

Osweiler, who started 14 games for Houston last season, had a solid practice while taking his first snaps with Cleveland’s starting offense. He completed several long passes, including a deep one to wide receiver Corey Coleman, who made a one-handed grab.

“Brock knows how to play,” said Jackson, who added he met with the Browns’ front office executives before making the call. “He’s very conscientious. He works extremely hard. He’s gained a lot of respect in the locker room because of the way he prepares, so he did a good job today and obviously it’s his first opportunity with those guys so we just need to keep fine-tuning some things.”

When the Browns acquired Osweiler in March, taking him and his guaranteed $16 million contract simply so they could get a 2018 second-round pick, it appeared the 26-year-old wouldn’t be in Cleveland for long.

But Osweiler is still around, and he could wind up beating out Kessler and Kizer, the team’s presumed future QB.

“This league gives you opportunities,” Osweiler said. “Sometimes, you don’t know when they’re going to come. Sometimes, you do know when they’re going to come. I think the key is making the most out of that opportunity, and if you do, the rest will take care of itself.”

Wilfork cooks up retirement video

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New England and Houston defensive tackle Vince Wilfork announced his retirement from the NFL in a barbecue commercial, a fitting farewell for a big guy who loved to eat.

Wilfork tweeted a video showing him un-taping his ankles, hanging up his cleats and grabbing grilling tongs. The video then shows the 35-year-old defender dancing, cooking ribs and smoking a cigar while wearing his trademark overalls.

“No more cleats,” he said. “I’m moving on to smoke meats, fellas. Peace out. I’m outta here. Later.”Speech

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