Scrimmage offers Browns quarterbacks a big opportunity
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns are still working on selecting a starting quarterback, and the Orange and Brown Scrimmage offers a unique opportunity for the three candidates.
A week after training camp opened, the situation starts to get real today for the three players competing for the starting quarterback role with the Cleveland Browns.
Head coach Hue Jackson has said he plans to run tonight’s annual Orange and Brown Scrimmage as close to an actual game as he can and the evening will include live tackling.
It will be the biggest test to date for Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler and DeShone Kizer, and while it will not cement the pecking order, a good performance will go a long way toward determining who will work with the first-team offense when the preseason opens on Aug. 10 against the New Orleans Saints.
The pressure will be on each quarterback, but in different ways:
- Kessler opened camp as the presumptive starter, but he is reportedly the same quarterback Browns fans saw last year — one who holds onto the ball too long and who is unable (or unwilling) to throw the ball down field.
- Osweiler has been an afterthought in the eyes of many since arriving from the Houston Texans in a trade. Now with the Miami Dolphins – coached by Adam Gase, Osweiler’s former offensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos – possibly in the market for a quarterback, a solid effort from Osweiler could raise his status as a potential trade target.
- Kizer, who is winning over fans and gaining momentum each day, has a chance to show Jackson that he is ready to be a serious contender for the opening day nod.
Realistically, Jackson does not have to make a firm decision on the starter until just before the third preseason game on Aug. 26, but it would be nice if Kessler, Kizer or Osweiler started creating some separation.
While Jackson has preached patience when it comes to the decision about the starting quarterback, it sounds like his patience is starting to wear a bit thin, judging from his reaction on Thursday to a question about Kessler being sacked more than once during a drive in practice.
Jackson quickly jumped to the defense of his quarterback, according to clevelandbrowns.com, but also pointed out that it is time for someone to take control of the position:
"“Sometimes the sacks don’t have anything to do with the quarterback. We made it sound like the quarterback, I mean, there was three missed assignments in protection, so that wasn’t the quarterback. I know that for a fact Every ball is not a long ball, I think you guys know, so there were some good balls thrown around the field. There were some balls we need to have back, some other balls we need to have completed, so we will keep working at it.”"
Tonight’s scrimmage is another piece of the puzzle when it comes to solving the quarterback situation with the Browns.
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But depending on how each of the quarterbacks responds to the pressure, it could out to be a pretty important piece in Jackson’s eyes.