The Cleveland Browns got an extended look at quarterback Brogan Roback on Thursday night, but did he do enough to earn a spot on the 53-man roster?
The final preseason game for the Cleveland Browns was all about players trying to “earn their stripes.” With the starters resting, it was the backups on full display, with many trying to secure a job ahead of roster cut downs.
One player who got plenty of chances was backup quarterback Brogan Roback. One of the favorites of the HBO series ‘Hard Knocks,’ Roback wasn’t on the field for the second or third games of the preseason, after throwing just four passes in their first game.
Cleveland instead was giving as many snaps as they could to No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, who is locked in as the backup to Tyrod Taylor. That left it up in the air for the third spot as both Roback and veteran Drew Stanton were hardly on the field for any game action.
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Unlike Roback, Stanton played in Week 2 and Week 3, but was there only for mop-up duty and was 1-of-7 passing for seven yards. Stanton, however, didn’t get a chance to go this week, which begs the question of whether or not Roback earned himself a spot on the roster.
Roback displayed a strong arm and decent accuracy. While playing with plenty of teammates who won’t make the final roster, Roback was 7-of-14 for 130 yards with an interception, but he did throw a 22-yard touchdown to wideout Blake Johnson during an impressive 90-yard drive.
Undrafted out of Eastern Michigan, Roback looks like he has a legitimate shot to make the team. While Stanton has more experience, it makes little sense keeping a 34-year old as a third quarterback. Sure, he has plenty of experience (which is likely why he didn’t have to play as much in the preseason for the Browns to know what he brings), but the goal with him was to be a backup to Tyrod Taylor. With Mayfield showing he can handle that job, Stanton’s job seems to be in jeopardy.
Roback as the third quarterback makes much more sense. He’s less experienced but proved to have plenty of upside and the team could try and tap that potential. His strong arm isn’t something that can be taught, so he’s a compelling person for the team to try and mold into the long-term backup to Mayfield — whenever he does take the reins from Taylor that is.
The final roster will be announced Saturday, Sept. 1. Don’t be shocked if Roback makes the cut and earns his stripes.