After beginning the season as the third quarterback on the Browns' roster, rookie Cody Kessler will be starting Sunday and the Redskins know he should not be overlooked.
The Redskins have faced off against a variety of quarterbacks already this season. Each one has presented unique challenges due to their varying skill sets.
This week against the Browns is no different.
The defense will face off against their second rookie quarterback of the season in Cody Kessler. Kessler is playing in only his second game of the season after starter Robert Griffin III got hurt in the season opener and his backup, Josh McCown, got injured a week later.
Despite his age, Kessler impressed in his first game, despite entering the year as the third quarterback on the roster.
While a newcomer to the NFL, he is no stranger to Redskins safety/linebacker Su'a Cravens. The pair played together at USC and remain friends. Except for this Sunday.
"Me and Cody, we're not going to talk, we're not going to talk this week," Cravens said leading up to the game. "That's my best friend. When it comes to the end of the game, him and I are friends."
Despite being friends with the opposing quarterback, Cravens can use what he knows about Kessler to better defend him, because he understands what he does and doesn't do well.
"Blitz him, can't scramble and gets rattled easy, when I talk to him anyway," Cravens said about attacking him. "He's a game manager, he doesn't make a lot of mistakes with the ball, he doesn't take risky throws. He's a guy that's not going to turn the ball over, be any sudden change, he's going to work with what we give him and throw the check downs and throw the smart pass. He's really good at the far field out as well too. We're looking for him to open it up underneath our defense."
Kessler had an overall successful outing in his first NFL game, just falling short in an overtime battle with the Dolphins, 30-24. He threw for 244 yards, completing 21 of 33 attempts and had one fumble in the game.
After an overall effective performance in his first outing in the league, the Redskins will look to take advantage of his inexperience when playing against him at FedExField. But there is also a good chance that there will be a mix of play calls due to the weapons available in head coach Hue Jackson's offense, including Kessler and versatile wide receiver Terrell Pryor.
So despite the inexperience that the incoming offense may present, the Redskins need to be ready for any kind of performance. For a quarterback that started off with such a promising outing, it's only up from here.
"I think when you are looking at a rookie for the first time, you look at the poise. I think he showed great poise," head coach Jay Gruden said. "He had a tough first drive but after that I think he came back. He could have really gone in the tank after that first drive and really been nervous but, he wasn't rattled at all. He came back and put his team in position to win the game. That's all you can do as a quarterback and he showed great poise. He's very accurate quarterback, without a doubt."