Hue Jackson: We will ride it out with DeShone Kizer
By Thomas Moore
Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson has made his decision at quarterback. Now he needs to stay with DeShone Kizer for this to have a chance at working.
Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson the decision on Sunday that rookie DeShone Kizer is his quarterback.
On Monday, Jackson affirmed that decision by saying the team is going to ride with Kizer through the inevitable bumps in the road this fall, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
"“I am going to ride this out with DeShone – the good, the bad, the whatever comes, but earning it with your teammates is putting in the time every day, doing what you need to do as a quarterback in this building. Come early, stay late, the hardest worker in the building. That is what our quarterbacks have to be because your teammates are watching that, and that is earning it each and every day.”"
It is a smart play on Jackson’s part – as long as he can stick with it.
Kizer may be the best quarterback currently on the roster, but that is not the same as saying he is a quarterback ready for what the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens or Houston Texans are going to throw at him.
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But unless Kizer absolutely implodes, the worst thing Jackson can do is to bounce Kizer in and out of the lineup.
Brady Quinn was probably never going to make it as an NFL quarterback, but head coach Eric Mangini did Quinn no favors in 2009 by starting him, benching him for Derek Anderson, and then putting Quinn back into the lineup.
If you believe in your quarterback enough to name him the starter, then you need to be willing to live with him through good times and bad. (It doesn’t hurt that the options behind Kizer, at least for now, are Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan.)
Jackson is also confident enough in his own ability, or stubborn enough, that he is determined to see this through the season, according to the team’s website:
"“We are going to make this happen. We are going to work through this because I think he is talented. I think this guy has the right stuff and I think if I am worth my salt as a coach, I will get it out of him, and if I think if he is willing to do the work he will rise to the occasion and I think he will.”"
In some ways naming Kizer the starting quarterback was the easy part. The other quarterbacks on the roster don’t inspire much confidence, and when Kizer struggles it will be written off as part of a rookie’s learning process.
The hard part will come this fall when things start to go bad. And make no mistake, there will be times that things go bad. When that happens, Jackson has to stay committed to the cause and let Kizer work through his issues.
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If he can do that, then there is a chance that this can work out in favor of the Browns.