Stud: Garrett Gilbert
It’s become common to talk about how well Garrett Gilbert has played in the preseason. The former AAF star joined Cleveland before the season and continues to impress. Starting again on Thursday, Gilbert had another solid game and finished with 117 yards on 13-of-24 passing.
His numbers could have even been better had it not been for a couple of drops, one by Ishmael Hyman which would have been for a huge gain. His overall night was so good that the team decided not to bring him back out even though that was their original plan — but he apparently showed enough.
The most impressive thing Gilbert showed was his poise on the Browns two-minute drive. Starting out on his own 20, Gilbert calmly moved the team down the field 80-yards for a score. After an incomplete pass to Braxton Miller, Gilbert then hit Derrick Willies twice for a total of 46-yards.
Cleveland then moved into the red zone off an 11-yard run by Gilbert — which included a defensive hold that moved them to the seven. On the ensuing play, Gilbert stood tall in the pocket and went through his progressions with no one open. At one point, he even started to throw before pulling it back and re-surveying the field. That time, he found his running back, Dontrell Hilliard, who ran in for a seven-yard score.
Earlier in the preseason, Freddie Kitchens said they wanted one of the backups, either Gilbert or David Blough, to convince them to keep a third quarterback. Not only has Gilbert done this, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him the active backup on game days in 2019.