CLEVELAND -- Oh, decisions, decisions.
Time is ticking down for the Cleveland Browns to make a decision as to who will be the starting quarterback for their preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday night, and with that game being considered the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season, coach Hue Jackson wants to get the choice done soon rather than later.
“I kind of want to put this thing to bed by Wednesday,” Jackson said following the Browns’ 10-6 win over the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium on Monday Night Football.
“I would like to put this thing to bed and just move forward in that direction, and whatever decision we make, we make. We want to make the best one for the Browns.”
Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler was given the opportunity to start the team’s second preseason game after leading the first-team offense onto the field during the first game against the New Orleans Saints, but the results were much the same.
Despite having a better completion percentage than in the first game against the Saints, Osweiler failed to move the Browns into the end zone, or even scoring position in the first two series of the game. Following the second series, the Browns turned the offense over to rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer.
Osweiler went six for eight for 25 yards with a long pass going for a gain of nine. One of Osweiler’s two misses came on a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage, which resulted an interception.
Despite being sacked twice for 22 lost yards, Kizer completed eight of his 13 attempts for 74 yards and rushed for a team-best 35 yards on five carries, including a one-yard touchdown run that put the Browns in front for good.
“I think I have seen enough,” Jackson said. “For me, I have seen enough. I have done this long enough in my career and know what it looks like and what it feels like and what it should be.
“I feel pretty good about it. We will travel in that direction. If I feel like after watching the tape we need to wait a little longer, we will wait a little longer. I just feel like we are at the point where we can move forward and feel good about it.”
Kizer has engineered four scoring drives during the preseason, while Osweiler has not yet ended a possession in the end zone or with a field goal.
“At the end of the day, the best decision for the team is who can put the ball in the end zone and score points because that is what we are going to need to do,” Jackson said.
“If we can play good defense and score some points on offense, I really and truly believe in the National Football League that is the formula for victories. That is what we are chasing, and that is what we have to try to do.”
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