Hue Jackson continues to make the Browns quarterback situation worse

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

The Cleveland Browns have a quarterback problem on their hands once again and head coach Hue Jackson is not making the situation any better.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but the Cleveland Browns have a problem at the quarterback position.

This time, however, head coach Hue Jackson deserves as much of the blame as the actual players.

Jackson made the call at the end of training camp to open the regular season with rookie DeShone Kizer as the starter despite all evidence pointing to Kizer not being ready for the big stage.

In Jackson’s defense, the alternatives were not appealing with a quarterback room of Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and Brock Osweiler, who was released prior to the start of the season.

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Kizer looked respectable during the Week 1 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers as he completed 66.7 percent of his passes, with one touchdown, an interception and a quarterback rating of 85.7.

It has been all downhill from there as Kizer completed less than 50 percent of his throws over the next four games, while adding just two touchdown passes and throwing eight interceptions.

Along the way he was benched at halftime of the Week 5 game against the New York Jets, sat the entire game the following week against the Houston Texans, and then only made it to the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans before heading back to the bench.

Add it all up and as the NFL closes out Week 7 of the regular season, Kizer is 31st in passing yards (965), 31st in yards per attempt (5.39), 32nd in touchdown passes (3), first in interceptions (11), 32nd in completion percentage (52.0) and 32nd in quarterback rating (47.9).

Cut through all the noise and the bottom line is that Kizer has not been good.

Cleveland Browns
CLEVELAND, OH – OCTOBER 22: DeShone Kizer #7 of the Cleveland Browns shakes off a sack attempt from DaQuan Jones #90 of the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

But that doesn’t mean that Jackson has to go out of his way to make the situation worse.

When he announced that Kizer was going to open the season as the starter, Jackson vowed that the decision was for better or worse, as he told

"“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.”"

The part about “whatever comes” obviously came early as Kizer has now been benched for all or part of the past three games, in large part to his propensity for turning the ball over in the red zone. It is understandable that Jackson would be upset about the turnovers, but when Hogan makes a start and throws three interceptions, and Kessler comes in relief and throws an interception, how is that helping the situation?

Jackson could also do a bit more to help Kizer out, perhaps by playing tight end David Njoku and running back Duke Johnson more than half the time. For seven weeks now we’ve heard people cry about a lack of playmakers on offense because the wide receivers are struggling, but Jackson continues to limit the touches of the two best players on offense.

Cleveland Browns
CLEVELAND, OH – OCTOBER 22: Cody Kessler #6 of the Cleveland Browns throws the ball in the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Maybe the best thing that Jackson can do, no matter who is in at quarterback, is to stop throwing the ball so damn much.

Despite starting a rookie quarterback for the majority of the season, the Browns have attempted an average of 39 passes per game, which is the third highest in the league. How that is even possible is mind boggling.

If Jackson is unsure about how to limit the pass attempts, perhaps he should cue up some game tape from the Chicago Bears.

Chicago head coach John Fox is no one’s idea of a great coach, and rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is not very good, but Fox has been around long enough to know that throwing the ball 39 times a game with a bad group of quarterbacks is a bad idea.

Trubisky has now made three starts for the Bears and has thrown a total of 48 passes. On Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, Trubisky attempted seven passes, had as many completions as sacks (four), led the Bears to one first down in the second half and 153 yards of offense.

And the Bears still won the game. Sure, the game might still be going on if the Bears had not scored two fluke touchdowns on defense, but the reality is that Chicago is riding a two-game winning streak because Fox is not asking Trubisky to do anything that is not capable of or ready to do.

Next: DPD Podcast: Breaking down the Browns 0-7 start

Instead, the Bears are running the ball (something the Browns should be able to do) and playing defense (something the Browns definitely can do) and are sitting at 3-4 on the season.

There is one other quote from Jackson that stands out from that day in August when he named Kizer the starter (via

"“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.”"

With the Browns sitting at 1-22 on his watch, and with a quarterback situation that he continues to make a mess of, maybe it is time to start wondering if the problem doesn’t lie at the feet of the head coach.