It is OK for the Browns to be patient with DeShone Kizer

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns have repeatedly said that rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer needs time to develop. Kizer himself has said it. So what’s the problem?

When the Cleveland Browns selected quarterback DeShone Kizer in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, it was widely accepted that he was going to need some time to acclimate to the pro game.

But for many fans and media members, that believe lasted – oh, maybe 20 minutes – before they determined that Kizer should be named the starting quarterback immediately.

By all accounts Kizer has been the perfect rookie during training camp; working hard, taking coaching, stay after practice and improving his game. That has only increased the desire for him to take over the starting role when the Browns open the season on Sept. 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Of course, everyone involved with the Browns who knows anything about quarterback play has said that Kizer is not ready. Head coach Hue Jackson said it. Quarterback coach David Lee said it. Left tackle Joe Thomas, who has blocked for more quarterbacks than possibly any left tackle in NFL history, said it.

And now Kizer himself has said it.

The Browns will take on the New York Giants on Monday night in their second preseason game, and Kizer will be the second quarterback up after Brock Osweiler. When asked about it this week, Kizer talked about how is still a work in progress, according to

"“When my time is ready, when they’re ready and I’m ready, I can trust the fact that coach is going to put me out there. So as long as I continue to trust in them — which I will — there really isn’t a timeline for myself. I’m just trying to get better every day and allow coach Jackson to make the calls.”"

The desire to see Kizer play is understandable. He is the shiny new toy that Browns fans simply cannot wait to unwrap.

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But a portion of the call for Kizer comes from a distrust of Osweiler.

From the moment that he arrived in Cleveland via a trade with the Houston Texans, some fans have decided that the Browns have received the Osweiler we all saw in Houston last season, and there is absolutely no chance that the Osweiler that helped the Denver Broncos make it to the Super Bowl in 2015 is in town.

Osweiler did something right in Denver, however, or at least enough that the Browns and the Texans were both willing to pay him big money to be their quarterback.

So what would it take for Osweiler to be, if not great, at least good enough in Cleveland? To find out, we reached out to Sayre Bedinger at Predominantly Orange and asked him what the Browns have to do to maximize’s Osweiler’s talent?

Here is what Sayre had to say:

"“I think for Brock Osweiler to be successful, the factors are generally the same for any quarterback. Surround him with a strong running game, offensive line, and targets, and he’s capable of making throws. Osweiler simply needs a coaching staff and group of teammates that believe in him, and I think that gives him much better confidence."

"“Being in Cleveland after a disastrous year with the Texans should open his eyes to the fact that he’s not who he thought he was in Denver. He made some plays in Denver, but was for the most part the same guy we saw in Houston last year. He struggled with Denver but there were times where he could really get on a roll. If he can find that groove consistently, he could surprise people this season.”"

So let’s review:

  • A strong running game? The Browns have that after averaging 4.9 yards per carry last season..
  • A strong offensive line? The Browns have that after adding J.C. Tretter and Kevin Zeitler to Joe Thomas and Joel Bitonio.
  • A coaching staff that believes in him? You could search far and wide and not find a head coach who loves his quarterbacks more than Jackson.

Add it all up, and Osweiler could be just good enough that Jackson can turn to Kizer on his own timetable, rather than being forced into the decision.

That is what this whole debate is all about, after all. Doing what is best longterm – not only for Kizer, but for the Browns. We get that being patient can be difficult for fans. We go back to the glory days of Brian Sipe, and can close our eyes and still see Bernie Kosar beating a blitz with the perfect pass, so wanting an actual quarterback after the dreck we’ve seen over the years is understandable.

The Browns are not going to be anywhere near the playoffs this season, no matter who starts at quarterback in Week 1. Play this right, however, and this may be the last summer the Browns and their fans have to go through the mind-numbing debate over the starting quarterback position.

Next: Dawg Pound Daily Podcast: Episode 17

After spending more than two decades waiting for a real quarterback to lead the team, what is a few more weeks, really?