BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns have named veteran Brock Osweiler the starting quarterback for the team’s Monday Night Football preseason game against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 21.
But according to coach Hue Jackson, that decision is not final as far as the starter goes for the regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday, September 10.
“Doesn’t mean anything for the regular season. This is this game. Keep going,” Jackson said when asked about the quarterback decision after Wednesday’s practice.
Against the Saints, Osweiler completed six of his 14 attempts for 42 yards, and rushed for 10 yards on a scramble out of the pocket to the left side of the formation. After three straight three-and-outs to start the game, Osweiler led a 13-play, 61-yard drive, but a deflected pass at the goal line on fourth down spoiled the effort.
The first-team offense accounted for 76 yards with Osweiler at the helm.
“I think he has done a good job of managing our offense, putting people in the right spots and the right places,” Jackson said of Osweiler.
“Brock is a pro. He has done this. He is not going to get fooled by many things. Obviously, he would be the first to tell you there are some throws he wants to make better, some things he wants to do better, and he will work at those things, but I think he deserves to go out there first, and we will go from there.”
Osweiler maintained the starting job for a second straight week despite positive results from rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer.
Kizer played the entire second half and completed 11 of his 18 passes for 184 yards and a 45-yard touchdown in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter on the way to leading the Browns to a 20-14 victory over the Saints.
On Kizer’s second drive of the game, he engineered a five-play, 60-yard drive in less than three minutes, and the offense punctuated the possession with a one-yard touchdown carry from running back Terrence Magee.
After a kickoff out of bounds gave the Browns a first and 10 from their own 40-yard line, Kizer tested the Saints deep and completed a 52-yard pass to wide receiver Richard Mullaney that moved the ball from the Cleveland 47-yard line to the New Orleans one.
On what turned out to be the game-winning drive, Kizer threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to second-year wide receiver Jordan Payton and gave the Browns the game-winning six-point margin over the Saints with 1:52 to play.
Although Kizer is not yet the starting quarterback, he moved past Cody Kessler on the depth chart because Jackson wants to get him much needed game reps against a more experienced defense.
“I want to see him now in the first half, and see what he can do there,” Jackson said. “I will give him an opportunity there to showcase his talent and ability, and then, we will put Cody in and go from there.”
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