Cleveland Browns look to test defenses down the field

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson wants to avoid becoming predictable when his team is trying to move the football down the field.

Jackson knows that to be an effective offense in today’s National Football League, his players have to run the ball well consistently, have a short and intermediate passing game, and also, be able to test an opposing defense down the field.

“In this league, to score points, you have to have explosive plays, unless you can just methodically move the ball down the field with 12-play drives, 13-play drives,” Jackson said. “That doesn’t happen a lot against these defenses. Some of these defenses are really good, so when you have a chance to have an explosive play, you want to get it.

“That being said, we have done some things that way, but turnovers don’t let us do some of the other things we want to do, like throwing the quicker passing game and doing those things. We have a variety of things that we like to do, that we just haven’t been able to do yet. We are working through that, and I think we will start to see more phases of our offense as we move through this season."

To get the ball down the field, the Browns are relying on rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer.

After completing 20 of his 30 attempts with one passing touchdown and another rushing score in a 21-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the regular-season opener, rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer went six of 11 with an interception before being pulled from the game because of a migraine.

Following his return on the second drive of the third quarter, Kizer completed nine of his final 20 throws, but had two interceptions. He finished his second NFL start 15 of 31 for 182 yards and one touchdown against three interceptions, as well as a lost fumble.

“The defensive players are really good in this league,” Jackson said. “They are really good. Obviously, the quicker you get the ball out, the better it is for the offensive line. The better it is, sometimes, for the quarterback, but everybody knows that.

“Defensive coordinators are starting to sit on that just as well. It is a chess match every week. As an offense, you want to be able to dictate. Then, there are some games you have to take what the defense is giving you and that is just part of it.”

Kizer took seven sacks from the Pittsburgh Steelers in his NFL debut and another two in a loss at the Baltimore Ravens, which is why Jackson wants him to have a quick, while also getting the ball down the field, starting with Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“We are going to ride with him through the good and the bad,” Jackson said. “Doesn’t mean I like it, but I’m going to ride with him through it because I think he has what it takes. We are going to keep getting him better.”

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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