CLEVELAND -- Quarterback Kevin Hogan had a standout career at Stanford University, but despite having plenty of success with the Cardinal, questions about his professional prospects dropped him to the fifth-round of the 2016 NFL Draft, where he was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs.
But Hogan was cut by the Chiefs at the end of training camp and had to earn his way onto the Cleveland Browns’ active roster from the practice squad last season. Fast forward nearly a year to the day later, Hogan is the Browns’ starting quarterback heading into today’s game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.
“It is definitely not a good feeling, but I was very fortunate to be able to come here,” Hogan said. “I believe in myself. I am a confident person, and I knew that if I was given an opportunity somewhere, then I would be able to get better and improve on my deficiencies.”
In the 6-foot-3, 218-pound Hogan, the Browns have a signal-caller who completed 727 of his 1,103 pass attempts for 9,385 yards with 75 touchdowns against 29 interceptions. Proving adept at making plays in and out of the pocket, Hogan added 1,249 yards and 15 touchdowns on rushing plays.
Hogan entered the NFL after his best collegiate year, when he completed 206 of his 304 attempts for 2,867 yards and 27 touchdowns against eight interceptions during the 2015 season, one in which he led Stanford to 45-16 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Rose Bowl.
“You always keep a chip on your shoulder,” Hogan said. “I have always believed in myself, so it is definitely disappointing when you feel that others don’t, referring to last year and getting released. I stayed confident and knew I can definitely improve and get better and play in this league.
“I felt like I had a very successful college career and played against a lot of great defenses, so I knew that if I kept getting better, then I would have a chance to play on Sundays.”
Hogan earned the right to start against the Texans after a strong second-half performance following the benching of rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer in last Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium.
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 in what was his fourth straight game with a less than 50 percent completion rate.
“We are getting towards the middle of the season, and we are just trying to get a win,” Hogan said. “That is all that is on my mind, all that is on the minds of everyone in this locker room. I’m not worried about what’s down the road. It is just about one day at a time.
“I think you do a disservice to your teammates and to yourself worrying about all of those outside factors and stuff. I’m just going to take it one day at a time.”
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