Scrimmage does little to clear up quarterback situation
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns still have a lot of work to do before naming a starting quarterback as the results of Friday night’s scrimmage revealed.
The Orange and Brown Scrimmage on Friday night was supposed to be the coming out party for rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer.
At least in the minds of some fans and media members who rightfully long for a day when the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns is a known entity at the outset of training camp.
But Friday evening was just another step in a journey that will not conclude until head coach Hue Jackson says so, and the play of all four quarterbacks revealed that a decision may not be coming anytime soon.
The situation may be frustrating, but it is also not unexpected this early in the evaluation process, Jackson told clevelandbrowns.com following the scrimmage:
"“You want somebody to be head and shoulders above everybody else, but let’s be honest, when you have four guys that you are giving a bunch of reps to, it is hard to do. Pretty soon, as I said before, we have to stop that part of it and move forward with who we think can really go play quarterback for us. That is the fair thing to do. They also understand and know that at some point in time, a coach has to make a decision about what is best for our football team. We are getting closer to that than we are not, and that is where we are headed.”"
Jackson will have to name someone as the starting quarterback for the opening preseason game on Aug. 10 against the New Orleans Saints, but he cautioned that everyone should not read too much into which quarterback takes the opening snaps against the Saints.
He also reiterated that the decision will be made on his timetable and no one else’s, according to the team’s website:
"“I’m not going to rush because everyone wants to know tonight, tomorrow and the next day. What is important is that we do it the right way.”"
That is probably the key takeaway from Friday night’s performance. Everyone has an opinion or a favorite that they want to see claim the starter’s role. The Cody Kessler bandwagon was overcrowded heading into training camp, but the momentum for Kizer to start from day one has grown disproportionately to his play. And almost everyone has been against Brock Osweiler from the moment the Browns traded for him.
But Jackson’s role is to tune out the nonsense and the noise, no matter how loud it gets, and do what is best for the Browns. He owes that to the team, the fans and, most importantly, to himself as it will be his job on the line at some point if this does not all work out.
If it turns out the Kizer is truly better than everyone else and mentally ready to go, then great. If fans have to live with Kessler or Osweiler for the opening months of the regular season, so be it. The timing of the decision is not important, getting the decision right is the only priority.
Next: Remembering the 1999 Hall of Fame Game
So settle in and enjoy the ride, Browns fans. A decision may not be forthcoming, but one is on the horizon all the same.