Not even halfway through the 2017 season, Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson has benched DeShone Kizer three times, and that might not be the end of it. After Cleveland lost Sunday, 12-9, to the Tennessee Titans in overtime, Jackson made it clear that nothing is clear when it comes to his quarterback situation.
“I’m not going to sit here and anoint Cody this or DeShone that,” said Jackson, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “Maybe this is the way it’s going to go for the rest of the year. I can’t tell you. I don’t know that, but I’m going to find a way where we can’t turn the ball over.”
Kizer threw back-to-back interceptions in the second quarter and was benched in favor of Cody Kessler, who also threw a pick. That doesn’t sit well with Jackson, who said interceptions get quarterbacks benched.
“If you turn the football over in the National Football League, you cannot play,” said Jackson. “It’s just that simple.”
On the surface, this is absolutely true. There’s just one huge problem with all of this. Jackson declared his loyalty to the rookie Kizer before the season and said he’d roll with the Notre Dame product, good or bad. Going back on that, three times now, is the kind of crap that ruins young quarterbacks.
A quarterback carousel has been spinning round and round and round the past couple of decades in Cleveland. To declare it might just keep spinning isn’t a good thing. That said, Jackson is feeling some serious pressure, having won just one game since the start of the 2016 season.
“Everything right now is on the table,” Jackson said after Sunday’s 12-9 loss in overtime to the Titans. “How can it not be? That’s only right and only fair. That opens up all kinds of questions. I get all that. I’m not worried about that.’
“If everybody feels like I’m supposed to just leave a guy in there when we keep turning it over, I’m not going to do that,” he said. “My job is again develop quarterbacks, but I’m also in charge of helping this team win games so that’s what I am going to keep doing.”
Cleveland wasn’t going to win many games, if any at all, entering the season. Anyone who’s been paying attention to the team knew that going in. There just isn’t enough talent on the roster, especially on offense, to win.
Making matters worse, the Browns don’t have any talent at the receiver position. There’s so little help for Cleveland quarterbacks. It’s telling that running back is the team’s leading receiver — by far. Kenny Britt is in danger of being cut and was sent home, along with Corey Coleman, before last weekend’s game against Houston.
But by all means, rotate quarterbacks. It’s been working so well for the Factory of Sadness of late. Why mess up a good thing?