At some point in the days leading up to the two Browns-Steelers games each year, we get a reminder that the Browns had an opportunity to draft the Ohio-born Ben Roethlisberger in 2004 and chose tight end Kellen Winslow instead.
That might not be such a recurring storyline if the Browns ever drafted and developed a quarterback who became a long-term answer at the position, but they haven’t found that guy yet. They hope that changes with this year’s second-round pick DeShone Kizer, who is a tall quarterback that showed a big arm and ability to keep plays alive with his feet while at Notre Dame.
Those are attributes that call to mind another quarterback and Browns coach Hue Jackson expects people will be comparing him to the longtime Steelers quarterback.
“I don’t know that I’ve coached a guy with this kind of skill set,” Jackson said on WKNR 850 AM, via Cleveland.com. “But he’s a big powerful man, so I know he’s going to get compared to another guy on another team in our division. I’m not going to talk about [Roethlisberger] because he’s that big and he has that kind of arm. He’s very mobile. So again, I don’t like to compare players and I know people will, but he’s got to come in and do what he can do and be the best version of him and that’s what we’re going to allow him to do.”
Roethlisberger didn’t open his rookie season as a starter, but an injury to Tommy Maddox in the second game of the year opened a door that’s yet to close in Pittsburgh. Browns exec Sashi Brown said there’s no pressure for Kizer to play right away and that “ideally” he’d have time as a backup, but Kizer is going compete for the job and Jackson said Thursday that he’s “not going to stop him from being out there” if it’s clear he’s the right choice for the job.