Report: DeShone Kizer closing gap on Cody Kessler

AP

There’s an open quarterback competition in Cleveland. And if all things are equal, it makes sense to put the guy with the most potential on the field.

That could eventually be happening, and by “eventually” I mean “soon.” Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that rookie second-rounder DeShone Kizer has “considerably narrowed the gap” with Cody Kessler during offseason workouts, and that Kizer “will press [Kessler] hard for the starting job in training camp.”

Currently, Kizer stands at No. 3 behind Kessler and primary backup Brock Osweiler. So first Kizer must overcome Osweiler, the unwanted appendix to the trade that allowed the Browns to buy a second-round pick from Houston for $16 million. The Browns have been praising Osweiler for his offseason performances, but they’re possibly still looking for someone to take him off their hands — and fully or partially off their books.

As to Kizer, the question becomes whether the Browns would give him a baptism by blast furnace in Week One, against the Steelers. With games after that against the Ravens, Colts, and Bengals, some believe the Browns should keep Kizer in bubble wrap until Week Five, when they face the consciously nosediving Jets.

Cabot notes that coach Hue Jackson has experience with a rookie quarterback who started from Week One, when Joe Flacco earned the No. 1 gig in Baltimore and Jackson served as his position coach. But Flacco was destined to be the backup until Troy Smith came down with tonsillitis during the preseason, giving Flacco a chance to show that he could get the job done without getting himself hurt before the Ravens rolled the dice with a guy who in his fifth season won a Super Bowl with the team that used to be the Browns.

Regardless of whether it’s Week One or Week Five or some other week during the season, Kizer seems destined to join the ever-growing list of starting quarterbacks since the team returned to the league in 1999. Whenever it happens, Kizer’s first start will put him only 58 more behind Tim Couch for the second-iteration franchise lead.

28 responses to “Report: DeShone Kizer closing gap on Cody Kessler

  1. If two guys throw a ball and miss their targets, but one gets closer to the target than the other, they still both suck. #Cleveland

  2. Nobody, but nobody is just going to pick up that Osweiler contract. If you can’t easily start for the Cleveland Browns, you will be of no use to any other team. The Browns may just cut him and let him sign elsewhere. It’s not like they can’t afford the cap hit.

  3. You kind of have to play him the bulk of this season to make sure you don’t have to draft another QB next year (and that’s supposing Jackson can survive). Say what you will, but no QB has ever played badly under Hue Jackson as an OC. Even going back to the Bobby Petrino mess, he made Chris Redmond not only look serviceable but look good when he took over play calling. That’s a talent for grooming QBs. With their offensive line additions, the plan would be to run the ball, play defense, and limit Kizer’s throws similar to Flacco’s rookie year. Kessler, who is physically limited, didn’t lose them games last year. His physical limitations and the bad team around him was more of the problem, so if you can tutor Kizer just as quickly, what do you have to lose?

  4. Actually the colts game would be a perfect time to start. They basically play flag football with their marshmallow lineup, so it would be a good way for him to break into the season.

  5. The Browns have been dysfunctional. Any (smart) football person should know this current regime is not. They’re playing as smart front office football as anyone in the league right now (see the draft anyone?). They just haven’t put the product on the field. Few teams in history have seen the kind of turnaround this team needs to have in just a year. I for one am not looking for a QB – yet. I say we get the parts working first and then fit that last puzzle piece in. If DK is the guy so be it – it would be a lucky pick. But while I expect us to compete this year (yes I am a Browns fan), I don’t expect the Browns to be playoff bound.

    Oh, and I am not particularly scared of either the Bengals or the Ravens. I think the worm has turned in this division and don’t have high expectations for either team.

  6. “As to Kizer, the question becomes whether the Browns would give him a baptism by blast furnace in Week One, against the Steelers. With games after that against the Ravens, Colts, and Bengals, some believe the Browns should keep Kizer in bubble wrap until Week Five, when they face the consciously nosediving Jets.”

    Play him week 3 against the Colts. While the Jets D gave up more points per game, the Jets offense put the D in difficult situations with turnovers. The Jets were the 10th best defense in yards per game, while the Colts were 3rd worst.

  7. MKC is totally off, trying to make news out of nothing. Hue already said he let the kid play with the 1st unit to see what he’s learning and get a feel for his progress.

    In no way does this mean he’s closing some gap.

    They’ve also stated he has a long way to go.

    I would be stunned to see him as anything but 3rd string at the start of the year, 2nd string only is Brock stinks or gets cut/traded.

  8. First Hue Jackson’s reputation as a QB whisper is overblown! Hue being a great play caller is also questionable if you go by last season. Hue’s playing calling got 4 or 5 QB hurt last season. This team could have run the football but no Hue called deep passing routes with inexperienced WR. The Browns QBs didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of being successful. Hue will destroy Kizer if he starts and then blame the young QB for the losses. Block is bust! Hue will make his speech of how if you don’t have that guy a team can’t win. The Browns will be the worst team in football next season and when Hue get beat by the Jets, Sashi Brown will fire Hue and Greg Williams will be HC………

  9. But Flacco was destined to be the backup until Troy Smith came down with tonsillitis during the preseason.

    LOL! The Troy Smith experiment. Not often you see a Flacco and Smith reference anymore, especially in stories about Cleveland.

    We miss you Troy!

  10. The Browns didn’t have the worst roster in the NFL last year. They just have a loser culture. Much in the same way the pats have a winning one.

    They just need to bring in vets that have played for winners over the next two years to help the young kids learn to win.
    Brock is not that guy. They should cut him no.

  11. COME ON MAN! The kid came out of ND where he never played under center and never had to learn how to read a defense. Add in the fact that the kid has only had his play book for a little over 2 months but yet he’s making up ground on Kessler? Now I’m not going to say that Hue WON’T hand him the starting job, because he did exactly that last season with RGlll. But there is now way this kid is going to be mentally prepared to be the starting QB over Kessler or even O.

  12. Tim Couch was the last Browns QB to play in a playoff game. Browns fans would love him if he came anywhere near Couches skill level since he actually has a ton of talent around him unlike Couch who spent his career having to lead a glorified practice squad of an expansion team.

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