Another week, another DeShone Kizer benching.
If the Cleveland Browns didn’t want to wreck the confidence of their rookie quarterback, they’re doing it all wrong. Kizer was benched again on Sunday as the Browns struggled. Last time it was for Kevin Hogan. This time it was for Cody Kessler.
The Browns trailed 6-3 to the Tennessee Titans in the third quarter and Kizer had two interceptions. They were terrible interceptions, but Kizer didn’t play that poorly in the first half and the big picture needs to be considered. Head coach Hue Jackson started Hogan last week, then turned right back to Kizer for Sunday’s game. Jackson said he thought Kizer had learned his lesson from one week off, whatever that meant. Then Kizer made two mistakes and he was sent right back to the bench. It makes it seem like the Browns have no plan at all, which … yeah.
Kessler, who was solid last season as a rookie, gives the Browns a better chance to win now than Kizer, and they were competitive in a game they eventually lost 12-9 in overtime. Kessler was 10 of 19 for 121 yards, which wasn’t great but he was coming in cold off the bench. Kizer, for as much promise as he showed in preseason, is very raw. But the Browns either didn’t realize before kickoff on Sunday that Kessler is a better option to win now, or they just don’t know how to manage a rookie quarterback who, at one point, looked like a possible answer to their issues. The latter seems possible for a coaching staff that has lost 22 of its first 23 games, dating back to the beginning of last season.
The Browns’ losses are troubling, but seeing the staff continuously flip-flop on a rookie quarterback and potentially ruin him might be an even worse look.
So the Browns turned to Kessler, which was the right move for a staff that desperately needs a win in the short term, and was probably the wrong move in the long term. And the Browns keep spinning their wheels.
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