Deshone Kizer has been named as the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns in the relatively important Week 3 preseason game. Usually, the week 3 starter (barring injury) represents the person who will open the year as the starter. In Kizer’s case, it is an opportunity, but not a lock.
The Browns want to see how he reacts to a week of preparation and being put in the “starting” role. If he struggles on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then they can say he needs more seasoning. If he shows competently, then he is going to go from a guy who went from falling in the draft to the 2nd round to a starter at age 21.
Kizer’s passing numbers were just okay last game (8 of 13, just over 5 yards per attempt) but he added an element with his ability to run read option that can make a rookie QB’s job easier (he rushed for 35 yards and a TD in his limited action). The previous week, he delivered a nice strike on a deep ball and passed for over 180 yards against backups. On balance, he has been the best option among the Browns’ mediocrity.
Brock Osweiler, meanwhile, has been awful. He’s 12 of 22 for 67 yards, no touchdowns, and 1 interception. 5.5 yards per attempt would be bad; 5.5 yards per completion is noxious.
Before Monday’s game, Ian Rapoport said Osweiler was a “clear favorite.”
But things changed quickly and now it’s DeShone Kizer. Osweiler had so little value in the Spring that the Browns got a second round pick to trade for him and use up their plentiful cap space for his bad contract. It’s doubtful anyone would want to trade for him, and it’s possible–if Kizer is named the starter, that the Browns go with Cody Kessler as the second string, and opt to keep Kevin Hogan rather than continuing down the Osweiler path.
We are just two weeks from the Browns having released a Brock Osweiler hype video that will be doomed to the dustbin of internet history and lore.
It seems like we might have hit Brock Bottom.