Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer looked the part for the Browns. Making that even more significant for Browns fans is that no one else has looked the part for the Browns in a long, long time.
But coach Hue Jackson wisely resisted getting caught up in the moment after the game.
“I go back to work tomorrow, look at all the tape and then make a decision about where we are,” Jackson told reporters on his plan for finding a starting quarterback. “[T]his was one week. I never told you guys this is how it was going to be from here on in. I said I am going to evaluate this after a week and see where we are. This [plan] was for this game on Thursday night against New Orleans. We will see where we are for next week.”
“[M]y plan was to play him the second half,” Jackson said. “It was. Once I thought about it, as I said, the young guys need to play and that is what I did. . . . Cody got an opportunity, and I would have liked to get him a few more snaps, but I wanted to see DeShone play. I thought I needed to put him out there in the fire. I think it was a great experience for him. There is a lot for him to learn from, but there was a lot of good things that he did, and he stood in there and made some plays with his arm. He will be the first to tell you there are so many things that he has to grow from. Just calling the play right, he will be the first to tell you that so he will grow that way, but there were some positives there, too.”
Jackson nevertheless resisted anointing Kizer the starter for the second preseason game.
“I think it is way too early to talk about that,” Jackson said. “I need to go watch the tape and all that. Let’s see it for what it was. The guy made some plays at the end that gave us a chance to win, but there is still so much growth that needs to happen for this young player. We all know he is talented, as I said before, but there are still some things he needs to do better.”
That may be true, but Kizer already has done enough things well enough to merit serious consideration to become the newest name at the bottom of the never ending jersey — and to be the last new name for a while.