CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns quarterback situation is so bad head coach Hue Jackson can’t even name a starter for the season with the third preseason game on the horizon.
But we now have a new favorite to “win” the job of starting Week 1 against Pittsburgh: rookie DeShone Kizer.
Jackson named Kizer the starter for Saturday night’s game at Tampa Bay, the third preseason game, which is often referred to as the ‘dress rehearsal’ for the regular season, pushing the 21-year old into the driver’s seat to face the Steelers.
“He has made a lot of progress by investing the time necessary to learn our offense, working hard to improve on his fundamentals while also effectively moving the offense in preseason games,” Jackson said in a statement released by the team Wednesday morning.
Through 2 preseason games Kizer has worked his way up the depth chart from the No. 3 against the Saints on Aug. 10 to No. 2 Monday night against the Giants, and now the starter for the Buccaneers.
“Development is so important for a young quarterback, this is the next step he needs to take and he deserves this opportunity,” Jackson said. “We are very excited about seeing DeShone in the role of starter for this week, as he is certainly positioning himself well to earn the starting job heading into the regular season.”
Kizer has completed 19 of 31 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown while adding 47 yards and a score on the ground in 9 offensive series that have resulted in 4 scoring drives through 2 preseason games.
Brock Osweiler has impressed no one in the 6 offensive series he’s received as the starter for the first 2 games. None of the drives have resulted in points and he’s thrown for just 67 yards while completing 12 of 22 passes with an interception.
Kizer is expected to have as close to a full supporting cast as possible Saturday night with running back Isaiah Crowell returning from a groin injury that kept him out Monday and left tackle Joe Thomas, who got the first 2 preseason games off, will play.
With the focus this season on playing and developing young talent, look for Kizer to get the nod for Week 1 even if Jackson won’t make it official this week.