The Sports Xchange

Browns Grossman won't 'subscribe' to mentor role

With no clarity in the team's ongoing quarterback competition, the Cleveland Browns shook up the depth chart Tuesday, signing Rex Grossman and waiving Tyler Thigpen.

"I'm not going to get into the specifics of the 'why' behind stuff," Browns coach Mike Pettine said Tuesday. "There are a lot of factors involved. We wanted to give Tyler an opportunity. We did and we felt it was time to go ahead and take a look at Rex."

Grossman is in his 12th NFL season and hits the ground with a complete understanding of Kyle Shanahan's offense in which he played with the Washington Redskins. Grossman was the third-string quarterback in Washington behind Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins.

"I think it's going to take just a little bit to get back into it, but this will be my sixth year in this offense. I should know it, and hopefully it won't take too long," Grossman said. "I'm sure a lot of things changed a little bit, and I need to get up to speed."

Grossman is not considered a threat to the starting job. Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel are vying for the No. 1 job in the preseason, but neither has many positives to stand on after the preseason opener at Detroit on Saturday. But if you ask the veteran gunslinger, he's not in town to play mentor, either.

"I think that it's more than that, and I don't even subscribe to that," he said Tuesday. "I'm just coming here to play football, and if that helps out then good."

The team has a full week to prepare for this week's game -- a Monday night date with the Redskins -- Pettine sounds determined to keep Hoyer installed as the starter. He said Monday of the QB pecking order "Nothing has changed."

The only change is adding Grossman while parting with Thigpen.

A first-round pick of the Chicago Bears (22nd overall) in 2003, Grossman has played in 54 games with a 25-22 (.532) record as a starter. He has completed 863 of 1,562 career passes for 10,232 yards with 56 touchdowns and 60 interceptions.

Grossman played for the Bears until 2008 and led Chicago to Super Bowl XLI during his first full season as the starter. Grossman spent the past four seasons (2010-13) with the Redskins following one year with the Texans (2009). Last season, he was inactive for 13 games and was active but did not play in the team's final three contests with Griffin inactive.

When asked to find similarities between Heisman winners RG3 and Johnny Football, Grossman didn't backpedal.

"I think that they can run around a little bit, but that's about the only similarity," he said. "Other similarities that he's bringing along are a very high-profile rookie that has a similar style, but it's really about the team. It's about the team coming together and -- the offensive line, wide receivers, running backs, quarterback -- everybody gelling together with what this offense is supposed to do. It's just going to come naturally, and I think that it took to you guys to create those interesting stories that I read. Actually when it comes down to it, football is a team sport and everybody's got to come together."

Grossman registered a 23-9 record as a starter for the Florida Gators under the direction of head coach Steve Spurrier. The 2001 Associated Press National Player of the Year finished his career with 9,164 passing yards and 77 touchdown passes. A native of Bloomington Ind., Grossman graduated from Bloomington South High School.