There’s suddenly a quarterback competition in Cleveland.
DeShone Kizer has performed well in back-to-back preseason games. The second-round pick out of Notre Dame was 11-of-18 for 184 yards and a touchdown against New Orleans and 8-of-13 for 74 yards and a rushing touchdown against the Giants. He has led three scoring drives in the preseason, while Brock Osweiler has led zero.
Could Kizer actually start in Week 1 against Pittsburgh?
“It’s a little bit murky at this point, but I think the bottom line is this: The Browns are trying to get DeShone Kizer ready to play some football,” cleveland.com Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “They’re grooming him to be the quarterback of the future, their franchise quarterback. The question is, is he ready right now or is he not? Is he ready to handle everything that the Steelers have in store for him, that Mike Tomlin will dish up for him, or is he not? So I think they have to go back, sit down, get together as an organization, watch the tape and decide if throwing DeShone in against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10 is the right thing to do or not. And if it’s not, then they will go to Brock Osweiler, who’s the only quarterback on the roster to have won a football game.”
Kizer, of course, is not a finished product. In fact, Brian Kelly advised Kizer to remain in South Bend for another year to develop. So even if Kizer starts in 2017, mistakes – rookie mistakes – will certainly be made.
“The decision-making is coming along quicker, (and) he’s going to the right place with the football. The mobility is good,” Cabot said, spouting off Kizer’s strengths. “But there are some issues. He’s still holding on to it too long, there are some over-throws, there’s some decision-making (issues), some procedural things that aren’t going exactly quite right – so he’s got to get a lot of that cleaned up before he can actually go out there and function in an NFL game. So I don’t know. My gut kind of tells me he might need a little more time, but I’m not sure about that.”
The Browns host the Steelers on Sept. 10 and will face the Ravens in Baltimore on Sept. 17. Both games kick off at 1 p.m. ET.