Saints Browns Football

Cleveland Browns defensive end Tyrone Holmes (91) celebrates beside New Orleans Saints quarterback Ryan Nassib (2) in the second half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, in Cleveland. The Browns won 20-14. (AP Photo/David Richard)

David Richard

Ryan Nassib has been operating at a disadvantage in his time with the Saints so far.

Every one of the other three quarterbacks in New Orleans has been in Sean Payton's system for at least two years, leaving Nassib to play catch-up, and he's taken the fewest reps in training camp so far. 

During Thursday night's preseason loss to Cleveland, though, Nassib found the playing field evened out by the simplicity of the Saints' game plan, and he acquitted himself well.

Playing most of the second half, Nassib, who was signed during the summer after backing up Eli Manning in New York for  completed 10 of 14 passes for 110 yards and the team's only touchdown.

"As you can imagine, first preseason game, the game plan was relatively our basic stuff," Nassib said. "It was our best stuff, stuff that we've repped a lot, stuff that a lot of guys knew, which helped us play fast."

Nassib took some heat from the Browns pass rush, at one point leaving the game with an injury, only to jump right back into the fray. When trainers took him off the field, Nassib tried to turn around and go right back in without missing a play, but the Saints' medical staff made him take off a few plays.

"You do not get a lot of chances to play this game," Nassib said. "Whenever you get a chance, especially a guy in a position like me, you want to take advantage of every opportunity that you have. If I am able, I am going to play."

Nassib wasn't entirely pleased with his performance on Thursday night; he'd have liked to finish off a game-winning drive in the final two minutes instead of taking a sack to end it.

But it was a good start.

"There’s a comfort level to him; he gets in and out; he gets his group in the huddle," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "I’m sure we’re going to watch some protection problems. I thought we struggled a little bit in the second half with that group, and any time there was pressure, or a pressure situation, we struggled."

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.