The Cleveland Browns are inching closer to Monday night’s national televised second preseason game versus the New York Giants. On Wednesday, Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson revealed some major roster news that will affect the second preseason game and possibly beyond that. At his Wednesday press conference, Jackson announced that Brock Osweiler will start at quarterback versus the Giants and that DeShone Kizer will come in to replace Osweiler as the second quarterback on the depth chart, leaving Cody Kessler as the third quarterback on the chart. The race to Week 1 of the regular season, however, is far from over.
The first important part of this announcement is that Osweiler will be starting for the second straight game, but it will be Week 3 of the preseason that will give fans an indication of who will start the season’s opening matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the first preseason game versus the New Orleans Saints, Osweiler completed 6 of 14 passes for 42 yards in his quarter of play. He did not really impress in his Browns debut, thus leaving the door open for Kizer and Kessler to continue to have a chance for the regular season starting spot.
The second important part of this announcement is that Kizer moved up to the second spot in the depth chart, passing Kessler in the pecking order. He will come in for Osweiler and will play in the first half. It showed a small sign that he has earned a promotion from his good performance from the first preseason game and the subsequent training camp practices. Against the Saints on Thursday, he completed 11 of 18 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown, while leading the comeback to win the team’s first preseason game. He is a rising player on the depth chart with his stock pointing up.
Coach Jackson issued some interesting quotes about the quarterback battle that can shed some light on his thinking. When asked about Osweiler’s playing time, Jackson stated, “I don’t know that it [Osweiler’s playing time] will increase. I know he is going to walk out there first. It could decrease. Again, I want to see these young guys play quite a bit.”
This quote showed that starting the second preseason game does not mean he is the leading candidate for the regular season starting spot. Jackson said this in response to whether the second preseason game’s depth chart correlates to the regular season, “Doesn’t mean anything for the regular season. This is this game. Keep going.” So in the end, the announcement of Osweiler starting on Monday night shows some importance, but in the end the quarterback battle is far from over.