CLEVELAND -- The more things change, the more things stay the same for the Cleveland Browns.
For the second straight week, the Browns are mulling over a quarterback decision ahead of this week's game against the Tennessee Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium after their starter, Kevin Hogan, struggled through a lopsided 33-17 loss to the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston Sunday.
“I will make that by Wednesday,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “I am in the midst of it right now. Getting closer, but we will know for sure on Wednesday.”
Jackson made a change at quarterback in the middle of last Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the New York Jets, electing to go with Hogan over rookie DeShone Kizer not only for the second half of that game, but also, for a road contest at the Texans.
However, the change did little to help the Browns’ fortunes, as Hogan threw three interceptions and the Texans posted a three-score win in front of their home fans despite having two of their top defenders, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, out of the lineup because of season-ending injuries suffered the previous week.
“If I did make that decision, it would be because I think it would be best for the football team, if that is the decision I made,” Jackson said of why he would stick with Hogan. “I haven’t obviously finished the thought process to that, but that is what it would be.
“If I still thought that he would give us the best chance to be successful and if I looked at the tape and thought some of the issues that he had weren’t self-inflicted, then that would be the reason. I am in the middle of doing all that and working through all that.”
In part, Jackson made the switch to Hogan to allow Kizer to learn from watching a game from the sidelines. And Jackson is confident that Kizer “learned a lot of things” during the loss, namely, the importance of protecting the football, finishing drives in the end zone and the need to adjust protections along the offensive line to give plays a chance to succeed.
“He will be a little bit more team-protecting in situational football things,” Jackson said. “I think he will understand that better and really, what it does to your team as you are in those situations. No. 2, I think he will demand more from the guys that play around him because I think he understands that every play matters and every play is a difference between having a chance to win or lose a game.
“He will be a huge part of the future here and that will definitely go into my thought process here in the next several hours about what is best for all involved, what is best for the offensive football team, first and foremost, who can get the job done, and then, what is best for us as an organization as we continue to move forward.”
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