On Tuesday, Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer was made available to the media. Among the questions that he was asked by reporters was whether or not he was looking over his shoulder these days to see if he still has his job, because he had recently been pulled from two games, and was benched for one start.
“No, I am not looking over my shoulder”, he said at the conclusion of a lengthy answer. “I think this position is mine and it is about going out there and performing”.
Then the front office went out there and tried to trade for AJ McCarron from the Cincinnati Bengals, willing to give up two draft picks in the second and third rounds for the quarterback in order to take over for Kizer.
And the only reason that the trade did not happen is because the Browns botched the entire procedure. Not only did they fail to directly send their paperwork to the league, they failed to duplicate the Bengals’ language on their portion. The language has to be identical in order for the trade to be approved.
So the trade didn’t go through, and now they have a 21-year-old rookie quarterback they have already sat down twice who now knows that they tried really hard to replace him, and that the only reason that they failed to do so was because of incompetence.
This cannot possibly be an ideal situation, if you’ll indulge me in practicing my understatement of the obvious.
Kizer is, presumably, still lined up to start for the Browns. The was replaced by Kevin Hogan, who got banged up in the one game that he started, and since then last year’s primary starter, Cody Kessler, has been dressing to back up the rookie.
But would it really be all that surprising if we see Kessler start a couple of games before the season is over? Would it even be surprising if none of these quarterbacks end up on the roster a year from now? The entire situation is Cleveland is such that nothing in a negative vein can be seen as all that out of the realm of possibility.
In the meantime, Kizer will resume his attempt to be a legitimate starting quarterback without the benefit of having a strong left tackle, after Joe Thomas suffered a season-ending arm injury two games ago.
Some of his best targets this season have been basically anybody but their wide receivers. Tight ends David Njoku and Seth DeValve have been some of his more reliable targets, as has part-time running back Duke Johnson.
“After going out there and attacking the big issue of not turning the ball over, I do feel pretty confident in my position”, he said about his belief in the team having his back. “Once again, it is about wins. If I can go out there and do my job to the best of my ability and hopefully put our team in a winning position, then I will feel a whole lot better about it”.
I wonder how he would have felt if asked the question later in the day.