Does the latest Browns quarterback change really matter?

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

Cleveland Browns head coach has decided to turn to quarterback Kevin Hogan as the starter. But at this point, does it even really matter?

Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson officially confirmed on Wednesday what everyone had speculated to be true since halftime of Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

Kevin Hogan is the team’s new starting quarterback, at least for the upcoming game against the Houston Texans.

Jackson made the announcement on

"“I’ve made the decision to start Kevin this week. We’ve liked what Kevin has been able to do within our offense when he’s been in there and he will start on Sunday because that’s what we feel is best for our team at this point in time. This does not change the way we feel about DeShone going forward. He has worked extremely hard and still very much has a bright future. Right now, it’s better for him and his development to back up Kevin.”"

Let’s get all the nonsense out of the way up front. Hogan will be the 28th different quarterback to start a game for the Browns since 1999. Yes, there is a jersey with the names of all the quarterbacks. Yes, the Browns are paying Brock Osweiler almost $16 million not to play quarterback for them this season.

Forget all that because it is all just noise.

The only real question worth asking is if any of this really matters?

On the one hand, it is hard to defend keeping DeShaun Kizer as the starting quarterback. He is barely completing 50 percent of his passes, has thrown nine interceptions, and has a quarterback rating of 49.5.

Yes, the wide receivers have not been Kizer’s best friends, but here’s an insider tip from someone who has watched the NFL for 40-plus years: wide receivers drop the ball on every team. That doesn’t excuse Kizer for consistently missing open receivers, holding onto the ball too long and running from clean pockets for no apparent reason.

In his defense, Kizer is a rookie who has only played four-and-a-half games at the NFL level after only starting for two seasons in college. In all likelihood he should not even be on an NFL field, but rather still playing in college. Everyone knew that when the Browns drafted him, everyone knew that in training camp and everyone knew that when he was named the starter to open the season.

So why would anyone, most importantly Jackson, be surprised the Kizer is struggling?

We never wanted the Browns to draft Kizer in the first place, but we are also not an alleged “quarterback whisperer” either. But once he was selected, there was no reason to root against him. The one thing we hoped for was that, unless Kizer was injured, that Jackson would just roll with him and bounce Kizer in and out of the lineup.

When Jackson made the call to start Kizer, he vowed that everyone involved was going to make it work, as he told in late August:

"“We’re going to make this happen. We’re 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.”"

Well, here we are, just a few weeks later, and Kizer is on the bench. Which raises as many questions about his ability as a quarterback as it does about Jackson’s reputation for working with quarterbacks.

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Jackson came to town as the infamous “quarterback whisperer,” but so far all he’s done is call out the name of the next starting quarterback. Some of that had to do with injuries as the Browns cycled through quarterbacks last season, but some of it has to fall on Jackson as well. He’s not at a Jon Gruden level of incompetence when it comes to developing quarterbacks, but Jackson is not exactly living up to his reputation, either.

To circle back to our original question, having Kizer or Hogan, or even the forgotten quarterback, Cody Kessler, running the offense probably doesn’t impact the team’s final record all that much. The Browns are in the second year of the rebuild and anyone who looks past the lazy narratives understands they are only starting to approach the end of the beginning.

This team — with 41 of its 53 players having played three years or less — was never going to win much this season. If they stick with Kizer maybe they win two games the rest of the way; switching to Hogan maybe bumps that number to three. But in the end, 2-14 or 3-13 or 4-12 is pretty much all the same.

Next: 5 offensive takeaways from loss to the Jets

Today’s move to bench Kizer and elevate Hogan to the starter’s role probably did accomplish one thing, however.

It confirms that the Browns are drafting another quarterback high in the 2018 NFL Draft.