I’d love to know how the conversation went between Browns coach Hue Jackson and former (for now) starting quarterback DeShone Kizer regarding Sunday’s game at Houston. Here’s a wild guess (with some sarcasm included) as to how Jackson explained the decision to keep Kizer on the bench for what would have been Deshaun vs. DeShone I.
“DeShone,” Hue may have said, “I think you have tremendous potential, and I think I can help you get there. But here’s the problem. If we don’t win a game or two fairly soon, I’m not going to get the chance to do that, because I’m not going to be your coach. See, I’m 1-20 in this job and, if you include my last five games in Oakland, 2-24 as an NFL head coach. That’s Rich Kotite territory.”
“Who’s Rich Kotite?” Kizer may have said.
“Exactly,” may have been Jackson’s reply.
“Anyway, we play the Texans then the Titans then the Vikings in London. If we end up 0-8 going into the bye week and 1-23 since last year, I’ll probably get fired on the flight back from England. So let me try to win a game or two with Kevin and then we can try to win some more with you.”
It’s an explanation that likely made plenty of sense to Kizer, who surely doesn’t want to see Jackson get fired during or after the 2017 season.
The decision also potentially was influenced by a desire to avoid putting the DeShone they drafted on the field against the Deshaun they didn’t. From passing on Carson Wentz last year to passing twice on Deshaun Watson this year (and trading out of the spot where he was drafted), someone eventually is getting fired for that. And if Watson had thrown for five touchdowns and no picks in a head-to-head matchup with Kizer, there’s a chance the reset button on the entire franchise would be slapped hard by Jimmy Haslam.
Even with Kizer nudged out of the fray, a loss to the Texans and another great performance from Watson may result in the reset button being slapped anyway, possibly after the London game. Maybe even sooner.