Cleveland Browns: Why Starting DeShone Kizer Makes Sense

Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson named DeShone Kizer as the starting quarterback for the third preseason game against Tampa Bay over Brock Osweiler. By doing so, it may show Jackson’s hand for who he may pick to start the upcoming season opener against Pittsburgh on September 10.

Jackson might still opt for Osweiler’s starting experience, as he has a solid 13-8 record in the regular season, over Kizer’s tantalizing skill set, but there are many reasons to throw the No. 52 overall pick from Notre Dame into the fire.

Here are my three reasons for why Jackson picks Kizer:

1. Better Arm

We all know Osweiler has a very strong arm, but he is still erratic and tends to overthrow his receivers on all types of routes. This, after Jackson helped him shorten his stride. When Kizer loads up and fires, his arm talent is superior and much more fluid. In the first preseason game against the New Orleans Saints, he completed passes of 52 and 45 yards in the Browns’ fourth-quarter comeback. Kizer has great fundamentals in the pocket. He sets himself well to throw a great deep ball. Also, he puts a deft touch on his short passes, something that Osweiler struggles with mightily.

2. If You Play, You Improve

It is no secret that Cleveland has been grooming Kizer to be the franchise quarterback. There is only way to do so, and that is by playing. Kizer’s learning curve has grown leaps and bounds since the start of training camp, and with that, he should improve by leaps and bounds every week he is on the field. Jackson’s gameplan will be simple in the beginning. However, by the middle of the season, Jackson should be ready to open the play book more for Kizer to grow. In contrast, Osweiler has been in the league almost four years, and there has been little or no improvement in his game.

3. More Mobile

While at Notre Dame under Brian Kelly’s pro-style offense, he rushed for almost 1,000 yards and 18 TDs in his two years as a starter. The Browns loves Kizer’s mobility, and can use his feet to make the game plan more diverse, yet simple at the same time. When Kizer was on the field against the New York Giants, he ran five times for 35 yards and a touchdown. Defenses will have to gameplan for this type of threat, something that they would not have to do with Osweiler in the pocket. It also opens up other aspects of the offense, including the running game, reverses and more.

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Nick Ficorelli

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