Cleveland Browns: Hue Jackson smart to name starting QB early
Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson has indicated he will name the starting quarterback in the next two weeks.
Hue Jackson has been an impressive presence in town since being named head coach of the Cleveland Browns earlier this year.
He came to Cleveland and established a sense of identity for a franchise in desperate need of leadership, and has done this before the team has even played a single preseason game.
Jackson’s latest move revolves around the quarterback position. The Browns have been without a franchise quarterback since returning in 1999, and that remains true this season. But that does not mean the available quarterbacks must remain in a competition that leaves the offense without a clear leader all season.
By saying a starting quarterback will be named before the first preseason game, Jackson made it clear this team is going to have a quarterback who receives the first-team reps throughout camp, and who has the support of the coaching staff at the outset of the season.
Robert Griffin III is the clear favorite right now to be named the starter and his workload at training camp supports that.
Griffin has been the presumptive starter ever since the Browns passed on taking Carson Wentz in the 2016 NFL Draft, so it was just a matter of when he would be named the starter.
The early decision by Jackson allows Griffin to settle into the role and begin working exclusively with the first-team offense. Having Griffin and Josh McCown split reps all throughout camp would hurt the offense more than it would help.
Related Story: Browns to name starting QB by August 12
Cody Kessler is also waiting in the wings, but naming Griffin the starter allows Kessler to begin his development as an NFL quarterback under the tutelage of Jackson, McCown and Griffin. He was not selected to be a starter in 2016, so it is best he continues to learn the game from the sidelines.
Jackson’s decision to name the starter early is in stark contrast to the quarterback battles of the recent past, when two mediocre players would duel it out until the end of the preseason. It usually ended with both players starting that year anyway, so the competition only served to name a temporary starter. Think Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn.
Griffin will be given the opportunity to be the leader of this offense. It is just not yet known if he can play well enough to keep the role for the entire season.