BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns’ offense – namely the quarterbacks – are leaving quite a bit to be desired early in training camp.
It’s most noticeable when the Browns go into 2-minute or situational drills every day, because all 3 – Cody Kessler, DeShone Kizer and Brock Osweiler – have been unable to capitalize on a consistent basis which is frustrating for head coach Hue Jackson.
“We have to win those,” Jackson said following Wednesday’s practice. “That is what you want. The defense has done a really good job – a lot of different looks. They are playing a lot of different packages, which is so good for us to see because that is what we will see during the year.”
On Wednesday Kessler and Osweiler threw interceptions to end their less-than-2 minutes to play and down by 4 drives. Kizer was put in a down 1 situation and he at least moved the team into field goal range, but that was thanks to the generosity of the coaching staff who moved the ball up following drops by Seth DeValve and Rashard Higgins during the drive.
“That is disappointing,” Jackson said. “We have to get better at that. We had a chance to make some plays, too, and did not make them. We had a drop here, a drop there and missed balls. You cannot miss those. In those situations, you have to make those plays.
“We have got to that fixed because that is how you win or lose games. Whether it is the end of the half or the end of the game, we have to make those plays.”
Unofficially, Kessler leads the trio in completion percentage through 6 practices in team drills mostly because he’s been aided by check-down completions and easy swing passes while Kizer and Osweiler are below 60 percent, which it goes without saying, is not good.
The problems offensively might tempt Jackson to switch up the QB rotation sooner than he originally wanted to, which is scheduled to be after Friday night’s Orange and Brown scrimmage.
“I haven’t made that decision yet, but it could be. Right now, I don’t see any reason to change it,” Jackson said. “I want to really evaluate that. I’m going to stand back and just evaluate it all on Friday and not be as involved as I would be just so that I can make a good decision as we move forward for our football team.”
It’s hard to say who is actually winning this competition through 6 practices because there just haven’t been enough plays made by any of the QBs and that is not a positive sign. The positive spin on this is that Gregg Williams’ defense is getting it done and are having themselves quite the camp but the poor quarterback play is just something that can’t be glossed over, not even by the head coach.
Play(s) Of The Day – 11-on-11: Myles Garrett blew by Joe Thomas and nearly took out quarterback Cody Kessler. Jackson spoke with Garrett after the play where it’s presumed he was reminded not to hit QBs in practice but the speed that Garrett got by Thomas, who had stopped him a few times already, was impressive.
“I know I saw a blur going around me,” Jackson said. “I didn’t know who was over there. I’m not surprised by anything he does. He just has to do it every day. You have to do it every day and keep getting better.”
7-on-7: Rookie tight end David Njoku went airborne between rookie safety Jabrill Peppers and linebacker Joe Schobert to haul in a touchdown from Kevin Hogan. Njkou, who held on to the ball as the 3 collided in mid air, also caught a pass from Bock Osweiler inside the 5 and beat Christian Kirksey to the goal line for the score.
“He demonstrates that he can make those plays. He just has to make them consistently,” Jackson said. “I think everybody was excited for him because everybody knows the pressure that he has been under that way. He has to make those plays, and he can. He demonstrates that he can. He just has to do it all of the time.”
Parkey v Gonzalez Part 3 – Cody Parkey and Zane Gonzalez ended practice with another field goal competition Wednesday. Gonzalez was a perfect 5-5 while Parkey missed from 39, but both hit comfortably from 55 yards.
Scrimmage Set – Friday’s annual Orange and Browns scrimmage will have a Sunday feel to it.
“We are going to play football,” Jackson said. “We are going to tackle and take people to the ground.”
Jackson plans to treat it like a game day, which is a little different than what they did last year at Ohio Stadium.
“We will divide the teams. We will do everything that a game calls for because I think it is important that our players go through that process before we play next Thursday,” Jackson said. “We will have halftime. We will have a coin toss. We will play it like a game, situational football and see what we can accomplish.”
Saturday Jackson plans to use practice as a “mock game” but with no hitting or tackling.
Injury Report – DL Caleb Brantley (finger), OL Gabe Ikard (concussion), DB Ed Reynolds II (knee) and DB Howard Wilson (knee-PUP).
Up Next – Practice Thursday 3:25-5:55