BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – For the first time this season, the Cleveland Browns enter a game week planning the start the same quarterback as the week before.
Cody Kessler is expected to start against the Redskins Sunday at Washington.
“There’s no question,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “Cody right now will be our quarterback this week unless something else from the medical staff is told to me.”
Jackson’s fingers are crossed that does not happen.
Kessler completed 21 of 33 passes for 244 yards in his NFL debut, which even Jackson admitted did not get off to a good start on the opening series. But he liked how Kessler recovered and helped the Browns force overtime in a game many expected them to be blown out in.
“I thought the anxiety of the situation, obviously, he had the jitters in the beginning,” Jackson said. “He calmed down. He made some throws. He made some plays. He made some tough plays. He threw the ball in there.
“He stood in there and I thought he played tough. He played with poise after that first series. That was his first game into the National Football League in the regular season. I thought there were some good things. Are there things to improve on? There is no question. Our whole team, there are things to improve on, but I thought for the most part, he battled as hard as he could.”
Parkey Plans – While the reality is that if Cody Parkey made just one more field goal Sunday, the Browns would be enjoying victory Monday, Jackson refuses to blame the kicker for the loss.
“I can’t put that on him,” Jackson said. “That is a tough situation. Everybody says, ‘Well, that is the kicker’s job.’ It is his job, but normally, a guy has a job, he has been around his employer a little bit and he has been around his teammates a little bit. It was tough. It was tough circumstances. It is unfortunate. If he would have made it, we would be celebrating right now, but he didn’t.”
To that end, Jackson said Monday that the team has no plans “right now” to replace Parkey, who made 3 of 6 field goal attempts but missed the would-be game-winner as time expired in regulation from 48 yards away. Parkey hit from 46, 48 and 38 while missing from 41, 42 and 48 wide left.
“It is unfair just to dump it all on him,” Jackson said. “There are a whole bunch of other plays we left out there with some guys that have been here since OTAs since I first met them way back when that we could have made. There is blame to go all the way around, starting with me. It starts with me and ends with me so we have to get better.”
Jackson was equally irritated with a report that came out after the game from the Miami Herald that special teams coordinator Chris Tabor preferred Robbie Gould, who he coached in Chicago, to Parkey but the front office opted for the cheaper option.
“That’s so far from the truth,” Jackson said. “Any decision that is made here about our football team, we make together. I felt very comfortable. If there is anything that comes out of this building, it should come from me, OK? Not from anybody else. If I didn’t say it, I guarantee that nobody else has any right to ever say anything about we should have had this guy or somebody wished we had that guy.
“We took the guy that we wanted. It was Cody Parkey. That is the guy we put on our team and that is the guy that kicked for us.”
Tanking Talk – If there were questions about the Browns tanking this season, they should’ve been answered Sunday with the team’s effort in Miami.
“I do want everybody to know we are not tanking a season,” Jackson said. “If that was the case, then we wouldn’t be trying as hard as we are. I’m not after a first pick. I’m not after any of that. I don’t think our organization is after that. We are trying to win as many games as we can win. It would make no sense to tank a season.
“If that is what I thought we were about, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. I’m not interested in that. Our players are not interested in that. We are interested in winning. I’m interested in winning.”
The Browns are 0-3 for the first time since 2012 – that team started 0-5 – but Jackson is encouraged by what he’s seen from his team through the first 3 weeks despite the losses and mountain of injuries.
“I’m probably more determined than I am discouraged, but I do get that we will be judged by wins and losses and not by anything else,” Jackson said. “That is the way it should be. That is how this business is. When I look at our football team, I really like the resiliency of our guys. I like the grit. The guys fought hard.”
Injury Report – Cornerback Tramon Williams sustained a sprained AC joint but is day to day while linebacker Nate Orchard “will miss some time” after sustaining a high ankle sprain on the game’s final play Jackson said.