DeShone Kizer is a broken quarterback
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns have a quarterback problem and it all starts with head coach Hue Jackson.
The Cleveland Browns opened the 2017 regular season with, while not high expectations, at least expectations that things would not be as bad as they were in 2016.
Part of that believe was due to the arrival of rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who simply had to be better than Robert Griffin III and Cody Kessler.
In those heady days of late summer it was easy to overlook that rookie quarterbacks, especially ones that had Kizer’s limited experience, would likely struggle.
Everyone also overlooked the negative impact that head coach Hue Jackson would have on his rookie quarterback.
Jackson vowed to stick with Kizer through thick and thin, but once the season started his benched Kizer on three different occasions, put Kizer down to the media, and basically written the book on how not to handle a rookie starting at the game’s most important position.
A quick look at the stat box shows that Jackson has no idea how to build a game plan that puts Kizer in a situation to succeed. Heading into the final two games of the season the Browns are tied for third in the NFL with an average of 4.6 yards per carry. Yet they are tied for 25th in the number of times they run the ball, with an average of 24.1 per game.
Meanwhile, the Browns are eighth in the league in pass attempts!
Those numbers, more than anything else, help explain why the Browns are staring at the first 0-16 season since the 2008 Detroit Lions and why Jackson has posted a 1-29 record with the Browns, the worst in NFL history.
It has reached the point where, according to running back Duke Johnson, that Kizer is a broken quarterback, according to a Tweet from Mary Kay Cabot at cleveland.com:
It was always going to be rough for Kizer as he left the Notre Dame a year too early, but having Jackson as his coach has only made things worse.
And with owner Jimmy Haslam saying the Jackson will return in 2018 and the Browns on the verge of securing the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the thought of turning over another rookie quarterback to Jackson is frightening.
We’ll let you ponder that while we take a quick spin through the weekly power rankings.
"No. 32 (no change): Joe Thomas was one of three players on Cleveland’s roster who have even made a Pro Bowl. Thomas made each of the past 10 coming into 2017, but a season-ending injury in Week 7 put an end to that streak. (Pittsburgh No. 2, Baltimore No. 12, Cincinnati No. 26)"
"No. 32 (no change): It’s looking more and more like it’s 0-16 for this team. Their best chance to win might be this week at Chicago. (Pittsburgh No. 2, Baltimore No. 11, Cincinnati No. 24)"
"No. 32 (no change): The Browns lead the league in “games in which it looked like they might have a chance to win, then they lose by 14-plus points.” When the Browns got a fourth-down stop and then scored, it was 7-3 and it really seemed like Cleveland had a shot. They lost by 17. This week against the Bears seems like their last shot at a win. They get the Steelers in Week 17 and it looks like Pittsburgh’s playoff seed won’t be clinched, and the Browns aren’t beating a Steelers team that needs to win. (Pittsburgh No. 4, Baltimore No. 12, Cincinnati No. 28)"
"No. 32 (no change): The Browns and DeShone Kizer’s season in a microcosm: Down 17 points early in the fourth quarter, Cleveland – aided by a couple of big penalties – marches down the field to the Ravens’ 11-yard line, surviving multiple third-and-5s. First play in the red zone: Kizer throws a dirt ball to Duke Johnson in the flat, giving his running back zero chance to advance. Second-and-10: Kizer smartly pulls the ball down when no one is open, gaining 5 yards and living to play another down knowing his team needs at least a field goal. Third-and-5: Kizer backs up under pressure, goes to his right, then squares his shoulders to throw a short punt into the middle of three Ravens defenders, completely obscuring the mental progress he demonstrated with the previous throw. Good gosh it’s tough rooting for the Browns. (Pittsburgh No. 3, Baltimore No. 12, Cincinnati No. 27)"