CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Hue Jackson would like to not have to make any quarterback changes for the remainder of the season when the Browns return from the bye week, but that doesn’t mean he won’t.
In what will be his final remarks until the team returns from the bye week Jackson was asked Thursday evening on the Hue Jackson show, which airs on 92.3 The Fan and the Browns radio network, if he would like to start Kizer in each of the remaining 8 games.
“Oh, absolutely,” Jackson said. “He’s going to start the Detroit game. He’s gotta continue to do the things that allows him to stay out there and he knows what those things are. I saw the improvement last week and hopefully that’ll lead into more improvement as we finish up the season.”
Sunday’s 33-16 loss to the Vikings in London marked the first time in 5 games Kizer played a full 4 quarters. He completed 18 of 34 passes for 179 yards with no interceptions or touchdowns. It was the first time Kizer avoided turning the ball over this season as well.
“There was some improvement,” Jackson said. “We went into this game wanting to do everything we can to come out of it with him playing clean – and what I mean by that – not turning the ball over and doing everything he can to put the team in a situation to win. I thought there were some things he did well but there are still some things he’s got to continue to clean up to really give us a chance to be as successful as we want to be here.”
Jackson explained what he’d like to see from the rookie from Notre Dame over the final 8 games – besides avoiding turnovers.
“Make those plays when those plays present themselves,” Jackson said. “There were some opportunities we had with David Njoku early in the game [against the Vikings] and even later on that we gotta be able to make as we go down the stretch.”
“Our team right now, we have to make every play that’s out there for ourselves to give ourselves a real chance of winning a game. That’s his job and that’s what he has to do.”
First Half Takeaways – Jackson assessed his thoughts on the first half of the season that has the Browns still searching for their first win and sitting at 0-8.
“The thing I’m happiest with is that our team plays hard,” Jackson said. “There’s no quit in the guys. I have never seen a sign of that in this football team.
“I think the things that we gotta continue to clean up on offense obviously is the turnovers. We gotta do a better job with the turnovers, we gotta do a better job with the sacks, we gotta do a better job with penalties. Those are 3 things that stop you from winning football games.
“On defense, we gotta continue to get more turnovers. We gotta make sure that in the scoring zone we’re competing a little bit better and make sure we’re keeping teams out of the end zone. And again, some of the explosive pass plays that have happened, we gotta continue to shut those down.
“Special teams-wise, we gotta find more opportunities to score the ball. We had a long kickoff return finally that set up the offense but we gotta continue to find other ways to assist both our offense and defense as we go through the back half of the season.”
No Rest – Jackson’s staff isn’t taking much time off to rest. They are using the week off to self-scout, find areas they can build upon and prepare for the second half of the season.
“There’s not rest right now,” Jackson said. “We’re an 0-8 football team. We might exhale for a second but there won’t be rest. We’re not going to rest until we can to winning around this football team and organization like we truly believe it should.”
Welcome Back – Jackson also weighed in on the NFL’s decision to conditionally reinstate suspended receiver Josh Gordon.
“I’m excited to have him back,” Jackson said. “I’m excited he’s getting another opportunity to be in the National Football League. I have not had an opportunity to be around Josh so we’ll do that this upcoming week, we’ll see where exactly he is and go from there.”
Gordon, who led the NFL in receiving yardage in 2013 and made the Pro Bowl, is eligible to play in his first game Dec. 3 at the LA Chargers. He would be a welcome addition to a receiving corps that lacks speed and explosiveness. Eight players have combined for 71 catches, 845 yards and 2 touchdowns through 8 games.
Watch every one of Gordon’s 14 career NFL touchdowns in the video above.