CLEVELAND -- As a backup quarterback in the National Football League, Cleveland Browns signal-caller Kevin Hogan learned the importance of staying ready just in case his number gets called, and that is exactly what happened in Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium.
With the Browns’ first-team offense struggling under the direction of rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, Hogan was inserted into the lineup and engineered a pair of touchdown drives.
“It seemed like he did a good job of surveying the field and getting the ball to the man that was supposed to have the ball,” 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas said. “I thought he did a nice job when he was in there.”
In relief of Kizer, who completed just eight of his 17 throws for 87 yards with one interception and one lost fumble, Hogan connected on 16 of his 19 attempts for 194 yards with two touchdowns and one interception on a deflection.
Hogan finished the game with a 122.4 quarterback rating. Kizer posted a 38.1 rating.
“Running the zone-read stuff, he’s very good at running with the football, and he’s very good at reading the defense and reading that defensive end of whoever’s supposed to be the read on those zone-read type plays,” Thomas said.
“I thought he did a good job just with the general operations. For a guy to have to step in there in the middle of the game, I thought he did a really nice job.”
Hogan spent all of training camp and the preseason as the No. 4 quarterback in the room with Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler and Kizer competing for the starting job, which Kizer won.
“He just keeps getting better and better and better and keeps showing that even though maybe he wasn’t a high draft pick that when he gets the opportunity, he makes the most of it,” Thomas said. “He throws the ball to the right guy, on time, on target. He does a good job with getting us on the right protections on the right guys in the pass game.
“He gets out of bad runs when they have a bad look on defense for us, so I think the confidence of the coaching staff just keeps growing when he’s out there and that’s why I think he just keeps moving up. Has done a really good job when he’s out there.”
With the Browns electing to start Hogan against the Houston Texans Sunday, Thomas believes it will be mutually beneficial to the team, as well as the quarterback room.
“I think second and even third year, to me, is the year where quarterbacks especially make a really big jump,” Thomas said.
“For those guys to be able to go through a full year of watching games, watching practice, the review side of things, and going out and either playing in a game or playing in a practice, putting all those different concepts under their belt I think makes them a much improved player in their second and third year.”