The guys running the Cleveland Browns are no dummies. In the past, it hasn’t always seemed clear that that is actually the case, but so far, even after a 1-15 season, most seem to be on board with the idea that the current regime can pull them out of the doldrums in the next couple of seasons.
They know a part of that process is finding a quarterback—more specifically, a franchise quarterback, which is something that they have not had since that returned to the league after undergoing a sort of mitosis as the original franchise moved to Baltimore.
They also kind of seem to know that they may not have gotten that franchise quarterback in this draft class, but they rightfully feel good about not reaching for one, and they still managed at least to add Brock Osweiler and to draft DeShone Kizer in the second round without overspending to get him.
Kizer is an interesting prospect with upside, but the Browns are certainly not going to force him into the starting lineup. And they also understand that comparisons will be made, perhaps comparisons that would be a burden to try to live up to. Hue Jackson noted that recently.
“I don’t know that I’ve coached a guy with this kind of skill set”, he recently said on the Browns’ radio network. “But he’s a big powerful man, so I know he’s going to get compared to another guy on another team in our division”. That was an obvious reference to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“I’m not going to talk about [Roethlisberger] because he’s that big and he has that kind of arm”, Jackson continued. “He’s very mobile. So again, I don’t like to compare players and I know people will, but he’s got to come in and do what he can do and be the best version of him and that’s what we’re going to allow him to do”.
“We’ve got to coach him from the ground up, but we’re working with a guy that’s very talented”, he said. “This is a guy who has a skill set that’s going to allow us to push and prod and get him to where he needs to be”. That said, he went on, “I don’t think we’re going to rush to stick him out there but, at the same time, I’m not going to stop him from being out there if he demonstrates those skill sets very quickly”.
Jackson knows this is a process that is just beginning. Osweiler is in-house, as is Cody Kessler, who did a reasonable job as a rookie a year ago. “I have to allow these guys to compete”, he said. “I can honestly say that the group is ahead of where I thought they’d be”.
“And we’re going to have a chance to add DeShone into this as well, so I’m excited about the room”, the head coach finished up his thoughts. “We still have a ways to go, but I know without question that we’re further along than what we were a year ago”. That must feel good for Robert Griffin III to hear.