BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Hue Jackson might need more time to pick a starting quarterback for Week 1 against Pittsburgh.
At least that seems to be the message from Jackson following Thursday’s practice.
“I have told you guys I am not going to rush,” Jackson said. “I appreciate you all and I appreciate our fans, but it is too important of a decision to get right for our football team. I love the pressure you guys put on, but I’m not succumbing to it.”
Jackson will have to start someone next Thursday night against New Orleans, but he made it clear that whoever he picks for the preseason opener is not guaranteed to be the starter Sept. 10.
“Me making that decision of who may start the game may not be who is the starter for the season, too,” Jackson said. “I still have to go through that process. Next week, the guy who starts may not still be the starter in my mind, unless that is where I am.”
None of the quarterbacks have seized the opportunity to win the job as Cody Kessler, DeShone Kizer and Brock Osweiler have all been consistently inconsistent throughout the first 7 practices of camp.
Kessler continues to get first dibs on reps with the first-team offense with Kizer also getting a share of them while Osweiler is buried with the second unit. All eyes have been on Kessler and Kizer because Kessler started 8 games as a rookie last season while Kizer was selected 52nd overall in the second round of the draft in April.
Kizer’s size and arm give him a clear advantage over Kessler, who has not showed improved pocket presence, accuracy or arm strength despite the tremendous amount of work he put in this offseason.
Jackson defended Kessler after Thursday’s practice when he was asked about Kessler taking 4 more sacks during team drills.
“Sometimes the sacks don’t have anything to do with the quarterback,” Jackson said. “We made it sound like the quarterback [was responsible]. There were three missed assignments in protection so that wasn’t the quarterback. I know that for a fact.”
Jackson also explained why he considers Osweiler a contender for the job even though he doesn’t give him reps with the ones.
“I just need to keep seeing more of those other guys,” Jackson said. “I know what he is, and I’m glad he is here. He has done a good job thus far.”
Jackson will be paying close attention Friday evening to the quarterbacks as he continues to evaluate the situation, but he doesn’t feel pointing to Kessler as the one who needs to show something is fair.
Not by a long shot.
“I think all four [quarterbacks] need to show me something tomorrow, not just him,” Jackson said. “They all need to go out and play well. Our offensive line needs to play well. Our offensive unit needs to play well. Our defense needs to play well. Our special teams need to play well.
“We need to play well as a team because it is under the lights in front of our fans. It is an opportunity to get a tune-up game before we play a real game next Thursday.”