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Browns’ Sashi Brown doesn’t want pressure placed on DeShone Kizer

When the Cleveland Browns selected Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer with pick No. 52 in the 2017 NFL Draft, some were happy while others thought him to be another name to put on the back of the long list of quarterbacks who have started for the Browns since 1999. While some disagreed on just how good Kizer can be in the NFL, everyone seems to agree that the rookie quarterback is raw and will need plenty of experience – both on (fixing his footwork, etc.) and off (learning the playbook, etc.) the field – before he can potentially make a name for himself on football’s biggest stage.

While talking on 92.3 The Fan’s “The Ken Carmen Show with Anthony Lima”, Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown mentioned the ideal is that Kizer would not be the Week 1 starter nor forced into action during his rookie season. The team would rather Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler, or even Kevin Hogan in 2017. Here’s the full audio, along with the quote:

“Ideally we’d be able to come in and give DeShone some time, and again, Hue [Jackson] talked about this. .. making sure he understands that he doesn’t feel like he has to have the pressure on him to be the week one starter or even the 2017 starter at some point. We like Cody, we like Brock, we like Kevin and he doesn’t need to feel that pressure.”

Brown doesn’t want to force Kizer into action, and would rather give him time to be NFL-ready and learn and develop under head coach Hue Jackson. He also admitted that Cleveland is still in search of a gunslinger who can start behind center for the foreseeable future. Obviously, Kizer could be that guy, but we won’t know that for a few years. Besides the rookie, Brown doesn’t seem to have much confidence that Kessler, Osweiler, or Hogan will be that guy.

“We won’t rest until we solidify that position. It’s not solidified right now, so we know we need the guys here to work their tails off, and Hue is going to develop them as much as possible and push them to be their best and we also know that until we get it solidified, we’re going to continue looking for players all over the league and in college. That may be in next year’s draft, it may be in free agency, it may be via trade. But again, Brock, Cody and Kevin are here working hard, and we’re going to support them as best we can.”

For the Browns and Dawg Pound faithful alike, the perfect scenario would be that one of the four quarterbacks on the roster can be the franchise quarterback the team has been in search of since 1999. But, if it’s not Kizer, the front office and coaching staff don’t seem to have faith it will be from the other three.

The Browns have now taken 10 quarterbacks in the NFL draft, including Kizer. The only one not to start at some point during their rookie season? Brady Quinn in 2007 (yes, even Spergon Wynn started a game his rookie year). Keep in mind, Quinn was the one who said that Kizer could be the 2017 version of Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott. Quinn played in just one game during his first season in the NFL after a holdout into August forced head coach Romeo Crennel to flip a coin between Derek Anderson and Charlie Frye- before trading Frye the day after a Week 1 game he started.

Could Kizer join Quinn as the only Browns quarterbacks since 1999 to not start during their rookie season? Only time will tell.

  • RGB

    He’s not going to beat out Kessler, and next season we draft Darnold.
    When is there ever pressure on a third-string clipboard holder?

  • Natedawg86

    Sign me up, hell I will take half what he is getting

  • The_Matt_of_Akron

    “Browns’ Sashi Brown doesn’t want pressure placed on DeShone Kizer”

    Then don’t draft him to Cleveland, duh.

  • Skulb

    You’d think the bar would go lower with each failure at the position. Weirdly, it sometimes seems to almost be the opposite. The more QB flops the Browns accumulate, the shorter the hook becomes for the next guy. And it really should be the other way round. Short QB hooks are for the Patriots, Packers and Broncos. The rest of us are much better off with patience and focusing on the positives. I guess it’s all part of the delightful stew that is the Cleveland Browns though. That way you get to see your eventual franchise QB be the franchise QB somewhere else, because you lost patience with him too soon. And won’t it be grand to see that guy win a Superbowl with the 9ers or the Jets, while you’re still looking for a QB for the third decade straight?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f8dec2a9d29231d225858e6c0bdc22678181ae540afab5a315f935c9ba375618.gif

  • Garry_Owen

    “We like Cody, we like Brock, we like Kevin”

    He’s lying, at least about one of these guys, and probably two of them, if they’re looking to bring in another QB. No way do they keep 4 QBs on their roster, let alone 5. (I suppose one of them named Kevin could stay on the practice squad.)

  • JM85

    Oh I’m sure he will start a game. It’s a Browns tradition.

  • mgbode

    Scout team against Myles Garrett — I’ll pass.

  • mgbode
  • mgbode

    Naw, I’m sure they LOVE Brock (pay attention to the middle of the field on this one)

    http://playmakermentality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Brock3.gif

  • mgbode
  • mgbode

    Here, this should instill some confidence that the pressure will be off Kizer.

    http://thesportsquotient.com/media/posts/32070/cody%20injury.gif

  • Harv

    So, which of the post-’99 QBs failed due to lack of patience? If they got an unreasonably quick hook and then went somewhere better a talented QB would become The Guy there. Hasn’t happened – not a regular starter among our bucket of ex-QBs. With the possible exception of Couch, who had the snot beat out of him over multiple seasons, the primary problem has been the talent evaluators.

  • Skulb

    I still think both Weeden, Hoyer, McCoy and even Manziel could have succeeded, given the right circumstances. Particularly Weeden I think was yanked way too soon. He just got two seasons in Cleveland, which is approximately the time it takes most QBs to acclimatize to the NFL. Look at almost any starter and it’s the same way: Luck started out slow, and has had some good and some bad seasons since he got drafted. But he’s injured himself in the process, and he just can’t do it without the right pieces around him. Same with Newton, who has now stacked nothing but mediocre seasons on top of the other, with the notable exception of 2015.

    Even Rodgers was average, by NFL standards, his first couple of seasons. It takes time. Yet the poor saps hired by the Browns have to perform instantly. And it’s just not realistic, if for no other reason than because the team isn’t there for them to do that. And you build the team from the front, not from QB. You need to have things in place or the QB will just get injured anyway. I mean, the Browns offensive line truly was offensive at time last year. No rookie QB or reclamation project could have looked good behind that unit.

    And to hammer this point home, Kirk Cousins, one of the possibilities for the Browns at QB next year and now universally considered a legitimate starting QB, was very nearly done in the league in 2015. Most of the fans had given up on him and the media certainly had. Yet at the time he had less than one season of experience as a starter. Had the Skins lost that comeback game against the Bucs, the pressure to bench him, effectively ending his NFL career, would have reached intolerable levels for Gruden, who was already risking his own career on this stuff. There were no good arguments left for Cousins to some people. I thought his lack of experience, the chaotic and divisive circumstances on the team with Griffin and Snyder and the poor roster were pretty good arguments myself. But seemingly everyone disagreed and wanted him gone.

    And that’s why I don’t think Weeden should have been let go. He had more experience than Cousins did in 2015. But still, it was on a terrible team. You had to dig a little bit to see the positives with Weeden, which most fans, and the front office, apparently weren’t interested in doing. Yes, he isn’t starting for anyone right now. But neither would Cousins be if he had been benched before he had his big moment in 2015. Those of us who were paying very close attention to Weeden in Dallas know how well he played in the defeats he got scapegoated for there. Dez Bryant was more to blame for those losses, not to mention Garrett himself, who made several enormous coaching blunders that season, and in those games in particular. And he played well in Houston too. He just took too long to get there, and apparently the train had already left the station.

    It’s a little harder, but I can make the same case for McCoy, Hoyer and Manziel. Once drafted, which we can have a separate argument about the wisdom of doing, all three were abandoned way too soon. Just when they might have become something useful, the Browns were done with them. Well, not Manziel. He didn’t even make it that far. Which makes it even worse. Let’s say you are right, and all these people were useless, why did you draft them? Someone should be fired for that if it really is the case. But I don’t think they were useless. I think the Browns were useless.

  • Skulb

    Oh and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Cleveland_Browns_starting_quarterbacks

    I my world a QB needs a full two seasons, or 32 games, before he can be fully evaluated. If there is progress from game 1 to game 32 you probably continue with that QB after 32 games. if there is stagnation or regression you move on. Therefore, only one QB on the Browns has even had a chance to be fully evaluated before being shipped out, and that was Tim Couch. And this is the problem. Just look at that pathetic list. Look at it!
    Once in the Browns’ history has the same QB started all 16 games of a season. And before that you basically have to go back to Bernie Kosar. This is why there is a problem. This is the problem. The Browns don’t make firm choices at QB so much as fish for one on a week to week basis. And while fishing, they never bother to protect their sacrificial lab specimens, so they all inevitably get injured.

  • Skulb

    He’s so open! I feel like screaming at the gif to throw it down the middle.

  • Skulb

    Which one was that again? Hoyer?

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  • jpftribe

    Weeden and Hoyer have had plenty of shots elsewhere and look to be the same QB’s the Browns had, streaks of brilliance with fatal flaws.

    McCoy is the poster child for starting a QB way too early. Says a lot about (hopefully former) Browns QB development capabilities when it culminates in a guy who feels he needs to throw the ball into the ground to protect his teammates.

  • mgbode

    It looks like the youth flag football games where everybody decides to cover the best guy leaving ‘the other guy’ WIDE OPEN. I mean, cmon Brock… Brock! Hey Brock! WHYYYYY!!!!!

  • BenRM

    I think Weeden’s biggest problem was his age entering the league – you just can’t be a 30 year old rookie. You don’t get the same amount of chances. Assuming it takes 5 years for Weeden to develop, he’s basically at retirement age at that point. Of your list, I think Weeden had the best shot, but he was just too old. It was one of the most stupid draft choices in recent memory.

    Hoyer is who he is. We’ve seen it plenty of other places. He’s acceptable, but in the very bottom tier of “starting QBs.” He’s a guy you’re always looking to move on from.

    We’ve seen that McCoy just doesn’t have the arm talent to play the position. Maybe one day he can be Alex Smith, but again, that’s a guy you’re always looking to move on from.

    Granted front office tension didn’t help, but everything Manziel did, he did to himself. There’s a reason no one has brought him in.

  • mgbode

    Hoyer is still playing football, the guy GIF’d above… notsomuch

  • Pat Leonard

    Wow, maybe a bigger thing from this interview with Sashi is that he has never engaged the Redskins about Kirk Cousins. Not once. That’s pretty astounding.

  • Harv

    Respectfully disagree with most of this. Weeden’s main issue is that he cannot read a defense and doesn’t like throwing unless a receiver is “college” open. If he’s a legit player after 4 years in the league, how did Prescott get first shot when Romo was hurt? I like Hoyer. But he’s never been able to keep a starter’s job no matter how bad the competition. Yes, the Browns were itching to see Manziel but tell me Houston didn’t give Hoyer the job to lose, which he did. McCoy was certainly given a shot here. He’s a nice man with a noodle arm that cannot be effective in this division and in this weather.

    I try hard to be objective about local players, try not to fall into woe-is-me thinking that each successive and different Browns staffs are toxic career destroyers. The consistent thing we see is bad personnel evaluators leading to bad rosters across the board: QBs and DBs and receivers and LBs. Relatively few discarded Browns players succeed after leaving here. It’s not because they are permanently damaged by our coaching deplorables. It’s because they were bad choices: undersized behavior problems with horrible work ethic and no experience with a playbook, big-armed 30 year olds with bad football instincts who can’t read a defense and make quick decisions, weak-armed and undersized college “winners with all the intangibles.”

  • Pat Leonard

    I actually agree with both of you guys. I think that the Browns need to be more patient in developing Kizer than they have in the past, and I also think the Browns have failed to draft a QB who was worth developing over 2 full years.

  • Pat Leonard

    I think you all know where I stand on this idea. I freaking love it. I want to see Year 2 of Cody Kessler behind this revamped offensive line, so having Sashi Brown come out and all but say that they want Kizer to sit and learn this year is music to my ears.

  • Pat Leonard

    TFW you are completely shocked that a certain player was picked before you, but you realize you’re on camera and that guy is a teammate.

  • mgbode

    Teammate?

  • woofersus

    Just goes to show how little you can trust reports that float around.

  • mgbode

    One of the big issues not mentioned is Tim Couch is the only Top 10 QB the Browns have taken since 1999.

  • Harv

    The Browns should certainly be patient with an inexperienced QB. But which one failed due to lack of patience? Correlation is not causation. Kessler was, imo, improperly pulled last season due to impatience. If he does not get a real shot to compete against Kizer and eventually becomes an effective starter elsewhere we’ll have our first evidence of causation.

  • Pat Leonard

    In and of itself, that’s just an amazing statement. The Browns have had two winning seasons in the past 18 years and have only taken a QB in the top 10 once.

  • Pat Leonard

    Oops, where is my head. Fellow Ohioan?

  • Pat Leonard

    Yeah I think the big issue is that Hue wanted to develop Kessler, but he also wanted to know if he had found something in RG3. He gave time to both guys and so neither really benefited. What I don’t want to see this season is some kind of random back and forth between Kessler and Osweiler. Osweiler is a known terrible quantity now and it does no good to pull Kessler to try to get an extra win.

  • Harv

    Startling. But they could have been smartest-in-the-room and still taken Bridgewater, Carr and others. I think you’re saying: they’re too smart by half, ignoring the position with almost two decades of high first rounders. I’m saying that’s been only half the problem. The other half: if/when they have a competent evaluation, they’ve somehow managed to ignore it, due to failure to stay in lanes. hubris, ownership prerogative, or who knows what.

  • Harv

    Agree with all. And I don’t like when they try to hedge and develop two young QBs simultaneously, because of the intense care/feeding/confidence-building and coaching resources that position requires. Available training camp and exhibition game reps are precious – pick your guy and work him hard. To treat them like running backs, like scorpions in the bottle fighting it out, is to demonstrate you don’t have the confidence of your own convictions about the guy you drafted.

  • Skulb

    Weeden wasn’t in Dallas last year, so never competed with Prescott. Weeden’s year there was the one before last. He got the job then only after both Romo and then Kellen Moore got hurt.
    I think I pointed out the problem I have with the Browns’ handling of all their QBs. They just don’t get enough games and are always looking over their shoulder in every game. I much prefer making a decision in September and sticking with it for 16 games, no matter what. If it fails, fine: try someone else next year. It’s just the desperate swapping of QBs mid season that never works. Or at least I can’t remember when it last did.
    Texans in 2015 and 16, Browns the last few years, Skins in 2014. Give me one example of this nervous finger drumming on the QB position ever producing worthwhile results?

    As for Weeden I would have agreed with you after his time in Cleveland. Why not? Nothing seemed to be working. But like I said, those of us who watched him in Dallas know for a fact that he improved there, and still further in Houston, where he actually won some games. And he still doesn’t have my required number of starts to properly evaluate a QB, which is 32. None of the Browns QBs do, except TC. Just as a mental exercise I would like Browns fans to picture the same QB, no matter who it is, actually starting and finishing all of the games in 2017. That should be the goal here, sink or swim, and for the Browns more than any other team. The stability would do the team a world of good. It’s also long overdue.

  • Skulb

    Well yes. But like I said: “in the right circumstances”. Clearly, being a QB on the Cleveland Browns is not the right circumstance for a lot of guys. So the problem is at least partly the franchise itself, and how it deals with its assets. It isn’t necessarily the assets themselves. It might be, but how can we be so sure?
    And I am trying to be contrarian here, and make people consider whether they think the Browns actually made the most out of all these QB. And subsequently why they would think that the team will handle current and future assets any better.

  • Skulb

    Yes that inspired a lot of confidence in him as a starting QB. I still don’t know what Houston was thinking with that contract.

  • mgbode

    I’m not sure but you can ask Chicago with the Mike Glennon deal.

  • Skulb

    Put it this way: I have seen all four of them play really well. I have also seen them play really poorly. But again, how many games have they started? How many of those were consecutive games? Were they looking over their shoulders or keeping the spot warm for someone else, or were they given the full confidence of the team to be the starter? What was the team signaling to the QBs in the media and in meetings at the park? In practices? In games?
    This stuff matters man. It really, really matters. And this is why I like the Cousins example. This is an example of how you have to handle an inexperienced, flawed, but talented QB. Someone like Hoyer or McCoy. You insulate him from the criticism as much as possible and stick with him through the inevitable storm. Gruden could so easily have bailed on Cousins, or “benched him for a few games”. And then he’d be nobody now. Blaine Gabbert at best. Instead he managed to transcend into a franchise QB. All he needed was enough time, good coaching and the support and commitment from his team.

    And whaddaya know, just as soon as Cousins hit his 32 game mark he stabilized. The lows weren’t as low anymore and the highs actually won the Skins games all by themselves. He didn’t even need a decent defense or a run game to do it anymore. Will wonders never cease?
    Anyway, I just think it’s high time the Browns at least tried the same approach. Again, mental exercise: we’re going to pick a QB now based on our best judgement. Then we’re going to let him start 32 games, come hell or high water. And we’re going to protect him in the media, deflecting everything with platitudes like “he’s developing”, “it takes time” and “there is progress from the last game to this one, be patient”. Then, and only then, will we evaluate. And in the meantime we’re going to look under every rock for smart linemen who can protect that QB, so that he hopefully doesn’t have his development derailed by injuries.

  • Skulb

    Btw you’re just the best at finding these football gifs. I don’t know how you do it.

  • mgbode
  • Skulb

    Gruden said the same thing. Either it’s very, very secret or it’s BS. I think it’s BS.

  • Saggy

    fangraphs can tell you everything you need to know about a pitcher in 6 pitches. you need 32 games?

  • Skulb

    Yes, and so do you. You just don’t know it, and think you can evaluate a starting QB in 16, 20 and 21 games. And you can’t, which Cousins, again, is the perfect example of. He could have been benched after 16 games too, and then people would be saying exactly the same thing about him.