BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Hue Jackson will wait until after Friday night’s Orange and Brown scrimmage at FirstEnergy Stadium to re-evaluate his quarterback depth chart.
Through the first 5 practices Cody Kessler has gotten the first reps with the starters, Brock Osweiler has worked mostly with the twos and DeShone Kizer has also taken reps with the ones.
But with the preseason opener now 10 days away against New Orleans, Jackson is reaching a point where the picture of the competition needs to come into focus.
“I am probably not looking at it from that standpoint yet,” Jackson said. “I probably want to go through the scrimmage on Friday and then kind of see where we are from there.”
Cody Kessler hasn’t done much to seize the job or more first-team reps for that matter despite unofficially completing 11 of 13 passes with 3 touchdowns during team drills on Monday. DeShone Kizer ran and threw for a score while completing 6 of 10 passes during the siren, 2-minute and red zone drills. Brock Osweiler put together the best 2-minute drill of the top 3 QBs on Monday while finishing 9 of 16 unofficially during the 3 team periods.
“Guys are battling and competing. They are doing some good things,” Jackson said. “The thing I’m most pleased about is the ball isn’t going to the other team a lot. That is what gives you a chance. If we play good defense, are able to run the football, take care of the ball and get turnovers on defense, then good things can happen. We are not a finished product, but I think we are working towards the goal.”
Goal-Line Stand – For all the raving about the running game on Saturday, Gregg Williams’ defense has responded the last 2 days.
On Monday, the defense slammed the door on 7 runs from the 3 with 6 of them going for a loss or no gain prompting Telfer to slam his helmet into the ground in frustration when the drill ended. Isaiah Crowll managed the best run by eeking out 2 yards but didn’t get close to the goal line. The only score came on a touchdown throw from Kessler to rookie tight end David Njoku.
“Our defense did a great job at the goal line, and anytime you play Gregg Williams at the goal line and you try to run it every play, it is not good for your health,” Jackson said. “It is good for our football team. That is how you build a tough defensive unit. That part of it was good, and our guys got after it. I would like to see the offense get the ball in [the end zone] a little bit more, but that is part of it.”
Stingy With Sacks – Myles Garrett could’ve had at least 3 sacks within a 2-minute drill had Jackson not wiped a couple of them out.
“I am not giving him free sacks that he wants,” Jackson said laughing. “Obviously, he is doing a good job. He is rushing the passer. He has turned it up a little bit. He is in much better shape. He understands what we are expecting of him to do and he is doing it so that is what you are seeing. You are seeing a young player that is starting to get better and better and better within our scheme.”
Garret ended Brock Osweiler’s 9-play 2-minute drill that moved to the 14-yard line with 5 seconds left by blowing by the left side and reaching for Osweiler as time expired for a sack that did count.
Growing Pains – Rookie tight end David Njoku continues to be consistently inconsistent when it comes to catching the football early in camp.
Njoku had 2 drops on throws from QBs with no defense during 1 drill in the end zone before catching a few passes in a goal-line drill. His most notable drop came in the end zone on a sharp throw from Kizer in a red zone series.
“He just has to make those plays,” Jackson said. “He gets it. Trust me, he doesn’t want to drop the ball. Obviously, it happens so we have to continue to work on. He has to continue to get better at. The good thing is that he is getting open in those situations. Now, he has to finish the play.”
Kicking Update – Cody Parkey was 5-5 on field goals – including a re-do after a low snap on a 54 yarder while rookie Zane Gonzalez made 3-of-5 kicks during the period.
Injury Report – DL Caleb Brantley (finger), OL Gabe Ikard (concussion), DB Ed Reynolds II (knee) and DB Howard Wilson (knee-PUP).
Manged Day Off – DB Jamar Taylor, WR James Wright, RB Duke Johnson, LB Jamie Collins, LB Tank Carder, C JC Tretter, RG Kevin Zeitler, OL Matthew McCants, TE Seth DeValve and DE Desmond Bryant.
Up Next – Players off Tuesday; Practice Wednesday