While he may not have been afforded the opportunity to start—the Cleveland Browns awarded that to veteran Brock Osweiler—rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer turned in one of the highlight performances so far of the first week of the NFL preseason schedule.
The Notre Dame product completed 11 of his 18 pass attempts on the day, throwing for 184 yards, which obviously works out to better than 10 yards per pass attempt. That included a 45-yard game-winning touchdown at the end of the game, and he also had another long pass completion that was nearly a touchdown earlier in the game. He led the Browns to two touchdown drives and the comeback victory.
But that is not about to win the second-round pick the Browns’ starting quarterback job. Not after just one preseason game. Osweiler and last year’s primary incumbent passer, Cody Kessler, remain in a competition to decide who will open the regular season against the Steelers under center.
After all, it is wise. It would certainly not be the first time in history that a player had a very good game in the preseason and then did very little else positive for the rest of his tenure in the NFL. It would be and always is dangerous to read too much into any one performance, period, whether it’s the preseason or the Super Bowl.
So while so many from different corners are seemingly crowding around Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson and scratching their heads as to why they haven’t named Kizer the starter yet, I applaud him for exhibiting an ounce of patience. He did not even have a particularly good week of practice leading up to the game.
Calling it “too soon” to make a decision, Jackson said, “I think there’s a process to all of this. I think we’re just in the beginning phases of it” for Kizer, who has a long way to go before anybody should feel comfortable giving him the keys to a franchise.
“You want to do what’s best for your team and for your players”, Jackson went on to say. “It’s not just because people see a bomb that’s thrown down the field for 45 yards. There’s more to playing quarterback than just that. We’re not there yet.
He said that “when it’s the right time to make the decision that we feel is right to say, ‘this is the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns for 2017’, then we’ll make that decision”. And it’s really as simple as that.