The Cleveland Browns started Kevin Hogan at quarterback against the Houston Texans on Oct. 15, continuing their ever growing controversy of starting new quarterbacks.
While there was promise in rookie DeShone Kizer, ultimately the team decided to go with Hogan for the week. Kizer had not been playing horribly; however, the team was 0-5 and Kizer’s stats were definitely not good. His three touchdownsーcompared to nine interceptionsーis not a pretty sight. Kizer was only completing 50.9 percent of his passes through the first third of the season.
In his defense, Hogan had looked serviceable in his time replacing Kizer through the beginning of the season. The Browns, presumably, had hoped that he would provide a serviceable game and give the Browns a quarterback battle, perhaps the first one they have had in a long time. Hogan starting would also give the the team an opportunity to get in the win column and try to stop their season from becoming a total loss. At this point in the season, however, it would probably benefit the team to continue losing in order to get a better draft pick.
Instead, Hogan finished only 14 for 26 with 104 yards and the Browns fell 33-17. Hogan did not throw a touchdown pass and had three interceptions. Eventually one has to sympathize with head coach Hue Jackson, who is now 1-21 in his tenure as the Browns’ head coach.
After getting the week off, there are rumors that Kizer will again be thrust into the starting spot for the Browns. While there are obvious areas of improvement for the young quarterback, it is important to remember that he is only going to get better. In the meanwhile, regardless of whoever is starting behind center, the Browns need to put their quarterbacks in the best possible position to succeed. Kizer, being the rookie and the potential future star of the franchise, should absolutely be starting every game for the rest of the season. To no one’s surprise, the Browns will not be competing for a playoff spot this year. Instead, they need to continue their rebuilding, by acquiring draft picks and making strong selections in the upcoming draft.
As a fan of the game of football, I admire the Browns’ ability to stick with their game plan and deal with the growing pains of Kizer. It is not easy to continue knowing that the short term results are not going to be there. In the end, however, this is clearly the right choice both for the organization and for the continued development of one of their most highly regarded quarterback prospects in years.