Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson has a difficult few months ahead as he tries to find a starting QB and he intends to take all the time he can.
The Cleveland Browns opened their three-day veteran minicamp on Tuesday and all the buzz was about which quarterback worked with which unit during the shorts-and-helmets workout.
Rookie DeShone Kizer spent some time with the first-team defense, as did presumptive starter Cody Kessler, which led to questions about whether or not Kizer was taking a lead in the race to be the opening day sacrifice, we mean starter, against the Pittsburgh Steelers in September.
Head coach Hue Jackson had a quick response to any such notion, pointing out that the team has only had a handful of non-contact practices and the first real game is three months away.
Basically Jackson wants everyone to slow their roll, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
"“Honestly, it hasn’t changed. That is the way it has been since OTAs have started. You guys just had an opportunity to see it so I think the players will tell you nothing has changed. We are just mixing and matching and giving guys opportunities. As I told you, I am going to find out about our guys. That is what I have to do over these next couple of days before we go to training camp and as we get into training camp.”"
We’ll all know that the Browns have arrived as a real NFL team when Jackson does not have to spend Organized Team Activities, minicamps and training camps answering questions about who the starting quarterback will be. Sadly, that day has not yet arrived, but it does give Jackson the luxury of taking as much time as he can to pick a starter.
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That day is not going to be today or this week, much to the consternation of many, but the day will come soon enough – most likely prior to or just after the second preseason game.
In the meantime, Jackson will keep working with Kizer, Kessler, Brock Osweiler and Kevin Hogan to maximize what they bring to the table.
And he will remain as effervescent as always when it comes to his quarterbacks, as he did today when asked about Kessler having three passes batted down at the line of scrimmage.
He’ll talk to Kessler about it, Jackson said, but he also spun it as the real headline was the play of the defense, according to the team’s website:
"“That means our defensive line is getting their hands up. We have some tall guys over there, too. Our defense is playing good. They are playing relentless that way and their hands are up, and we have to find holes to throw the ball in so it is a good problem, but also, we do need to take a peek at it and see if we can fix that, too.”"
We get it the interest and it would certainly be nice to spend training camp focusing on almost anything but the quarterbacks – the development of the defensive line, the battle at right tackle between Shon Coleman and Cameron Erving, what’s going on with the wide receivers – but that is not the current situation.
The good news is that Jackson does not have to make a decision this week.
The bad news may be that when decision day does arrive, Jackson will wish he had more time.