BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Kevin Hogan will serve as the backup quarterback for the Browns Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Head coach Hue Jackson chose to go with Hogan over Cody Kessler, but it’s not a permanent decision contrary to what Jackson said earlier this week about how he’d like to select the backup QB.
“I don’t want to get stuck in that, too. Cody is going to have a chance this year to also be the backup, as well, at some point,” Jackson said. “I made that statement the other day having gone through what I was going through and looking at certain things. We will play this thing out as we go, and if there is a chance where Cody fits better, then Cody will be the backup.”
Kessler started in April and the No. 1 QB before being replaced by Brock Osweiler after 9 training camp practices. Now Osweiler is gone and Kessler is last on the depth chart, even though Jackson doesn’t view it that way.
“He is not at the bottom. I know you feel that way. He is not at the bottom,” Jackson said. “I don’t want to paint that kind of picture for him. He is not at the bottom. He is one of the backup quarterbacks on this football team.”
Hogan started camp firmly entrenched as the No. 4 QB but has worked his way into the second slot, even if it’s just for this week.
“It feels good that coach has confidence in me to go out there and make some plays,” Hogan said. “I feel like I’ve done a good job in camp with preparation and learning the offense, the ins and outs of what coach is looking for from the quarterback, and I’m going to do my best to help DeShone in whatever way he needs to be ready to go on Sunday. I’m going to do the same. I’m going to prepare as if I’m the starter, so I’m ready whenever.”
It stands to reason that the Browns kept Hogan on the active 53 through cuts last weekend because they were afraid he’d be claimed off waivers.
“It just shows they have trust in me, and that means the world,” Hogan said. “I’ve been working hard and taking their coaching and feel like I’m starting to grow in this offense. So it means a lot that I have some trust I can run the offense and see something in me.”
Picking Up The Slack – With rookie defensive end Myles Garrett out Sunday, and for the foreseeable future, there are concerns about how the Browns can find a way to replace him.
“There are a lot of good players here,” defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said. “He didn’t play all of the snaps in the preseason either. He will be fine. He will be back.”
Nate Orchard, Carl Nassib and Tyrone Holmes will be counted on to help fill his shoes until he’s healthy. On Friday Williams sounded like he’s the only one not worried about the loss of Garrett for a few weeks.
“Everybody just has to be patient, but he will be fine,” Williams said. “He really will. He is a good kid. He is a good young player, and he is a good person.”
Hurricane Watch – With hurricane Irma set to hit Florida this weekend Miami native Duke Johnson is worried about his family back home.
The Browns’ back said that his mother was unable to evacuate in time because her flight got cancelled so they are going to ride the storm out.
“To me, that’s most important to me, my family and all the families that’s down in Florida and what’s going on,” Johnson said. I should have more information before the game and that’s what I’m hoping, I’ll know more then.”
Understandably, Johnson admitted the hurricane has made focusing just on football difficult.
“Of course, especially when it’s something of this magnitude, it’s always hard to focus on the game,” Johnson said.
Roster Moves – The Browns officially elevated linebacker B.J. Bello and defensive back Kai Nacua from the practice squad. Bello and Nacua fill spots vacated by safety Calvin Pryor and quarterback Josh Woodrum who were waived on Thursday.
Injury Report – OUT: DE Myles Garrett (ankle); QUESTIONABLE: DT Danny Shelton (knee); EXPECTED TO PLAY: LG Joel Bitonio (knee), DL Nate Orchard (groin), ; FULL: DL Caleb Brantley (finger), WR Kenny Britt (knee), OL Marcus Martin (toe)TE Randall Telfer (knee), LT Joe Thomas (knee), FB Danny Vitale (ankle)