Browns, Headlines

Rookie DeShone Kizer closing gap on Cody Kessler

Training camp is still six weeks away as the Cleveland Browns concluded their mini-camp last week. One of the biggest takeaways is the Browns have a quarterback competition again; just like every offseason since 1999. This time around, it is between second-year quarterback Cody Kessler, rookie DeShone Kizer, and veteran Brock Osweiler.

While Kessler was originally named the starter prior to OTAs and Osweiler wants people to watch his film from 2016, Kizer seems to be climbing the ranks faster than most expected. In fact, head coach Hue Jackson admitted that he’s emerging as an option for Week 1 this fall if he continues to learn the NFL game, both on and off the field, per’s Mary Kay Cabot.

“We already have some capable guys here in Brock and Cody, and we want to see if (Kizer) can compete with those guys. Obviously, there are some things he does really well, and there are some things where he’s still a young quarterback. He’s still learning, but he’s emerging. I do believe that. We’ll see how this all unfolds.”

At 6-foot-4, 233 pounds, Kizer has the ideal size of a franchise quarterback. The biggest problem is that his footwork is inconsistent, which leads to unwarranted mistakes. Although he seems to be studying the playbook when he’s not practicing, eating, or sleeping, the former Notre Dame quarterback still has plenty to learn. Luckily for the Browns, Kizer knows that and his doing his best to learn everything as fast as possible.

Jackson has a good history of getting rookie quarterbacks ready to start their rookie season, and Kizer may just be the next one to do the same. During OTAs, both Kessler and Kizer received reps with the first-team offense while Osweiler was mainly with the second-team. That right there says all you need to know about who has the top spots in the competition. Now, it’s all up to Kizer to see if he can improve his game in time for training camp, where he can impress the coaches again and maybe earn the starting nod for the season opener.

Sashi Brown admitted that he doesn’t want Jackson or the team to rush Kizer, but at this point, the team may have no choice. He may still need to develop his game, but they have to give the ball to the quarterback that gives them the best chance to win week and week out.

Just last week, quarterbacks coach David Lee raved about his rookie quarterback, and it seems as though Jackson has followed suit. To say that he made an impression during the short minicamp would be an understatement. Kizer has the chance to be the 27th quarterback to start behind center since 1999, and it may just happen sooner than many expected.

  • Pat Leonard

    Closing the gap without playing in a live game setting. Hello, Silly Season, wonderful to see you again. Look, if DeShone Kizer wins the battle for the starting job, I’m all about giving him a chance to show what he’s got. What remains to be seen is whether he can move the chains consistently enough to be the starter. Throwing the deep ball is fun, but it’s much more important to have a guy who can put the ball right on the numbers on 3rd and 3.

  • RGB
  • Pat Leonard

    Always and Forever.

  • Garry_Owen

    At first, I see that Kizer is “closing the gap,” and I’m all, like,

    And then I read that this is coming from MKC, and I’m all, like,

  • Harv

    yeah, this was MKC’s headline, and her phrase wasn’t even based upon coach summer happy-talk. Wish we could keep the breathless out of Berea. But until we get players, panters gonna pant.

  • BenRM

    Am I alone in feeling the headline and the actual text of the article are completely disjointed?

    I mean, someone literally says, “[Kizer is] just a long way from being ready.”

  • BenRM

    Excellent gif usage.

  • Garry_Owen

    This won’t give you any peace, but maybe it means that Kessler is also a long way from being ready. After all, Kizer just needs to close the gap to Kessler. It’s not like he’s competing against Tom Brady. So, as I see it, Kessler is nowhere near ready, but in the nowhere-near-ready category, Kizer is RIGHT ON HIS HEELS, BROTHER!

  • jpftribe

    This. And both are at least a preseason away from being Jason Campbell Elite.

  • Harv

    remember when MKC admitted that she wrote and podcasted that Campbell elite because her father was sick and she wanted to cheer him up? Professional integrity. Good times.

  • paulbip

    Can we trust HUGH on that one?

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  • BenRM


  • BenRM

    That article is the primary basis upon which nothing she ever says should be taken seriously. She seems nice, and she has some manner of access…but like….dude.

  • Brandon

    Indeed. Charlie Frye was one of the best at that.

  • Skulb

    I love QB competitions. They are always so good for the concentration and confidence levels of the QBs. I still think something should be done about them to make the proceedings even more challenging though.

  • Skulb
  • woofersus

    Hue is just doing the HC thing playing up the competition. Most assessments about Kizer say something along the lines of “exciting possibilities; needs a lot of work.” I think what Kizer has really impressed them with is how coachable he is and his rapid absorption of the things they are teaching him. (more fuel to the fire that he was just poorly coached at ND) That doesn’t mean he’s actually closed the gap. I mean if they think he’s better at decision time, then fine, but I don’t think that’s what they are really saying, at least yet.

    I could be wrong, but I think it’s Kessler easily for week 1, and I think that’s how it should be. Don’t get “new shiny toy” syndrome on the quarterback you just drafted who isn’t ready yet for a season in which you don’t actually expect to be that good. Kessler played pretty well when healthy and shouldn’t be written off just yet, and Kizer shouldn’t be thrown out there until he’s ready to actually show what he’s got, or we’ll be talking up the next guy in 12 months.

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