Despite benching in Baltimore, Hue says Kessler still the Browns’ starter

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After benching him in the third quarter of Thursday night’s loss at Baltimore, Browns coach Hue Jackson said rookie Cody Kessler remains the team’s starting quarterback.

Jackson said after the game that he removed Kessler in favor of Josh McCown because the Browns “needed a spark” and that he “wasn’t going to keep watching missed plays.”

McCown came in and threw two interceptions. McCown finished 6-of-13 for 59 yards. Kessler finished 11-of-18 for 91 yards and threw the Browns’ only touchdown pass of the game in a 28-7 loss.

The Browns finished the game with 144 total yards.

The Browns are 0-10 and play again Nov. 20 at home against the Steelers. Robert Griffin III, the team’s starter entering the season, threw some passes before Thursday night’s game and remains eligible to be activated from the team’s injured-reserve list if he’s medically cleared.

Jackson said Griffin is “getting closer” but said it’s too early to say if Griffin will play again this season.

Somebody has to play in these last six games, and Jackson has to keep chasing a win. So, stay tuned — if you’re feeling especially brave.

34 responses to “Despite benching in Baltimore, Hue says Kessler still the Browns’ starter

  1. Well… it was easy for the entire country to see why the Browns are 0-10.

    First play of the game, D doesn’t know the right personnel package with 12 men… time out.

    First punt, 2 men back who don’t know who should catch the ball at that place on the field.

    That team was not even remotely ready to play.

  2. The game was over as soon as Kessler was on the bench. The o-line was struggling and the receivers weren’t getting open. No running game either. He wasn’t taking a lot of shots but he didn’t make any dumb mistakes either.
    McCown was laughably unprepared and out of sync with everyone. The Browns haven’t done a lot of Browns things this season (besides calling a time out before the first play from scrimmage lol), but throwing a 23 year old kid under the bus – the same 23 year old that has kept this season pretty respectable, 0-10 or not – was very petty and borderline out of line.
    Jackson bears no fault on this terrible season – this roster is the Rutgers of the NFL – but I don’t think it’s wise to start doing too many Jackson things at this point of the season.

  3. Kessler doesn’t seem to have a strong arm. All he can throw is outs and crossing routes. With Pryor, Coleman, and Barnidge, they need a QB who can go downfield to their underrated skill positions.

  4. Man, the owner of the Browns is in a tough spot. He vowed to bring continuity to a franchise that needs it and not make any more quick hook decisions.

    But this team is horribly coached. I’ve never in my entire 50 years seen a team be forced to burn 2 timeouts within the first 5 minutes of a game because they couldn’t carry out the simple task of having the right players on the field.

    One thing I noticed that most people probably did not is that Jackson removes his headset and stands around doing nothing when his defense is on the field. It’s one thing to trust your coordinators, it’s another thing to be a head coach and show complete disinterest in half of your team.

    Unfortunately, it looks like the Browns are yet another coaching change from making any substantial progress.

  5. Not a Browns fan by any means but I will say I “WAS” rooting for them to get at least 1 win this season. After tonight I’m not so sure anymore…I thought Hue was a good coach but his benching of Kessler reeked of desperation. The team is a mess and I’m not even sure at this point they deserve to win a game when the coach is acting so erratic.

  6. Can’t blame two punt returners hitting each other, way too many penalties, D players w/o a lineman on them killing the QB, and a host of other awful plays and mistakes on the QB; that’s coaching or lack there of. Didn’t once see fundamental football by the Browns.

  7. Hue seems hell bent on ruining his rookie QB. Either Kessler is better than McCown or not. If he is then stick with him even in the bad moments. Hue could have just hurt whatever confidence the team had in Kessler with a pointless stunt. He is a poor head coach.

  8. the Browns “needed a spark” and that he “wasn’t going to keep watching missed plays.”

    Kessler: 11/18, 91 yards, 1 TD, no turnovers
    “The Spark”: 6/13, 59 yards, zero TDs, 2 interceptions, 2 fumbles

    Rather than debate the QB, time to look for a new coach. Nice try, Hue.

  9. theres just not enough talent on the team, its as simple as that…hue and company are coaching em hard but coaching can only do so much without the talent to go along with it

  10. Allow me to translate this for everyone:

    Hue Jackson: “We needed a spark.”

    Translation: “I realized we might actually have a chance to beat the Ravens but this season is over and I reallyyyy want that 1st overall pick.”

  11. If the Browns go 0-16, Hue Jackson should be fired.


    Why? I’m not saying whether he should or should not be fired, but why is 0-16 automatic firing and 1-15 gives you a chance? Does the zero scare people off? In both cases you suck really badly, so the response should be the same.

  12. When the Browns called a time-out before the very first snap of the game, you just knew it was going to be another bad night. In fact, they had already used 2 time outs with 10 minutes left in the FIRST quarter…that is one bad team. Maybe Jackson should have put Kevin Hogan in as QB to give them a spark with his legs. Kessler and McCown certainly aren’t the answer. I feel bad for the Browns and Hue Jackson.

  13. Does it really even matter? I feel like they could insert a bionically-enhanced clone of Johnny Unitas and still lose every game at this point. I just wish we could dig up some of the preseason articles in which Browns fans were commenting on the possibility of their making the playoffs. Such sweet innocence…

  14. ive said this since we drafted KESSLER he’s a bum with an average NCAA and or STREET FOOTBALL BACKYARD QB Arm
    he’s not a down field gunslinger QB at all which you need in the AFC North nor those he have the body build
    a wasted draft pick again for my browns and him being a USC QB isnt helping at all either

  15. @eazeback says:
    Nov 11, 2016 9:06 AM
    theres just not enough talent on the team, its as simple as that…hue and company are coaching em hard but coaching can only do so much without the talent to go along with it


    There is a lot of talent on that team. Much like Jag, but they don’t have coaches that know how to use and harness that talent. They have nice pieces across the offense and should be more productive but they don’t have the culture in place to prepare the team for success and that starts with the coaches. Looking at the defensive side to the roster they have some very good individual talent as well that just hasn’t come together and again it’s back to the coaches. Given the personnel that they have they could switch to a 4-3 and be better off than going into next year.

  16. Watching their games is like watching 2 different games. As good or bad as the 1st half may be, the 2nd half is always worse. At first I thought the coaches were incapable of making half-time adjustments but, now I think it’s something else.

    Kessler has shown some real promise at times. When he does, Hue pulls him and inserts a different QB. Sometimes Hogan and now, McCown. WTF? As bad as the O-line is, this QB version of 3-card Monte, isn’t making it any easier on them.

    I know the Browns have a legitimate shot at 0-16 but, are they intentionally “tanking it,” too? (They don’t have to at this point.)

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