The big news of the week in Cleveland seems to be that Hue Jackson named Brock Osweiler to be the starting quarterback in the Browns’ first pre-season game Thursday night against the Saints.
First, it’s a pre-season game, and certainly Jackson can change his mind between now and September 10th when the Browns and Steelers get together.
Second, it seems that the coaching staff and front office are showing everyone they are pumping the brakes on DeShone Kizer.
We have been critical of Osweiler in the past, and have pointed out on a few occasions that Cody Kessler had more games with a passer rating of over 100 in his rookie season than Osweiler has had in his career.
However, it appears that Kessler hasn’t progressed as the coaching staff hoped, still dinking and dunking and reticent to throw the ball downfield.
And we have been consistent in saying the Browns need to resist the temptation to throw Kizer to the wolves before he is ready.
Cleveland has done that before with other young quarterbacks and it hasn’t worked. Didn’t someone say those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it?
Complicating things for some fans as well as those in the media is that the Browns went 1-15 a year ago. They have to start winning some football games, not for the fans, but to start building a winning atmosphere in the locker room.
It may be right now, that Osweiler gives the team the best chance to put up some “W’s”
After all, his supporters will point out the former Bronco and Texan has a 13-8 record as a starter.
We would counter that argument that the former Arizona State standout tooks snaps for two teams that have incredible defenses.
It is a fact that he is the only QB on the roster who has started and won an NFL game.
So, Osweiler will get a chance to resurrect his career starting Thursday night. And why not, the coaching staff has to know what they have in Kessler and they don’t want to rush Kizer, so why not see if Osweiler can get the job done.
Remember, he was a throw in last spring in a trade for a second round draft pick. When the Browns announced the trade, the pick was mentioned first.
The point is, what does Jackson have to lose? Osweiler played the best in Friday night’s scrimmage, and he has starting experience.
If he looks good throughout the preseason, he will claim the job against Pittsburgh in the season opener.
That doesn’t mean we would rule out Kizer, we just wouldn’t force him into the job. If he is clearly the best QB in practice and the games, then he should start.
But he shouldn’t start because he might be the franchise quarterback in a few years, or because he’s big, has a strong arm, and is mobile. Let him observe, get used to the speed of the game, and show something when he gets his opportunity.
Remember, he was a second round pick, so if the Browns would get the first pick in next year’s draft, they can still take Sam Darnold of USC or however the top college QB is after this upcoming season.
So, Jackson is taking the least risk is seeing what Osweiler can do. It doesn’t mean he will open the year as the starter, but right now, it’s his job to lose.