BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – It might be time to give someone else a look.
Browns head coach Hue Jackson appears to have finally reached that point when it comes to his quarterback rotation.
“I want to go through the weekend, go through last night and go through today and really sit down and make what I think is the best decision for our football team for Thursday night,” Jackson said.
Cody Kessler, who started 8 games last season as a rookie following injuries to Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown, had been getting the first reps with the first-team offense since the offseason program began, but he has shown little development or progress since and Jackson may be ready to make a change.
Kessler has failed to move the first-team offense consistently and he struggled mightily in Friday night’s scrimmage.
Jackson has been reluctant to feature Brock Osweiler, opting instead to give the other first-team reps to rookie DeShone Kizer but he might have no choice but to give in and go with Osweiler for now.
Should he bump Kessler from the No. 1 role that doesn’t mean the competition is over and whoever he picks will start Sept. 10 against Pittsburgh
“I will keep stressing that Thursday night may be different than what the regular season may be,” Jackson said. “If it is, it is. If it isn’t, then it isn’t, too. My job is to make sure that I put the guy out there who gives us the best chance to score points and help this team win. That is what I’m going to do.”
Jackson would like to pick his Week 1 starter and not have to make yet another change so he can begin the process of assigning reps to prepare for the season going forward. Who he thinks that could be will factor into his decision.
“It is also a feeling of who I think can be the guy and then kind of going in that direction, first and foremost, but leave the door open,” Jackson said. “We do have candidates that can play. Who knows? That guy [Thursday] might go out there and not play as well. I don’t want to shut the door that way, but I also don’t want that guy looking over his shoulder, as well, because you have to play.”
Jackson plans to talk it over with executive VP of football operations Sashi Brown and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta.
“Absolutely,” Jackson said. “I would love to have their input. I want to see what they have seen and how they feel about it, and we will go from there.”
The Browns have the day off Sunday and will practice Monday and Tuesday in preparation of the preseason opener Thursday night against the Saints.
Scrimmage Part II – Jackson had the 2 teams from Friday night scrimmage again Saturday, just without pads and live tackling and this time around the offense got the ball into the end zone twice.
“We are on the field to score points,” Jackson said. “We are going to run the football. When we throw it, we have to make some plays. I saw some receivers step up and make some plays. The quarterbacks made some throws, and that is what you look for.”
The first series of the afternoon saw Kessler pick up 1 first down in 5 plays, Osweiler moved the offense across midfield before the drive stalled and Kizer capped his drive with a TD toss to receiver Jordan Payton.
Osweiler went 5-5 on another drive that was highlighted by a 30-plus completion to receiver Rannell Hall and capped by running back Brandon Wilds’ 7-yard TD run.
Pick 6 – Jackson wasn’t nearly as excited about Jamie Collins’ pick-6 of Kessler as the linebacker was during Saturday’s scrimmage.
“I still don’t like turnovers,” Jackson said laughing, “but we got a chance to score. That is going the other way. That is a huge swing. We have to protect the ball, especially down there, but it is a heck of a play by Jamie. Jamie is a good football player. He is smart. He is heady. I like to see our defense do good things, but I want to make sure our quarterback is not tipping their hand that way.”
Injury Report – DL Caleb Brantley (finger), OL Gabe Ikard (concussion), DB Ed Reynolds II (knee) and DB Howard Wilson (knee-PUP).
WR Jordan Leslie left Saturday’s practice and is being evaluated for a possible concussion.
Roster Move – The Browns signed WR Rasheed Bailey and TE Nate Iese Saturday. To make room on the roster, the team waived DL Jamal Marcus and WR James Wright with injury designations.
Up Next – Players off Sunday, no practice; camp resumes Monday with practice from 3:25-5:55 p.m.