CLEVELAND -- There are going to be plenty of decisions to make when the Cleveland Browns sit down this weekend to formulate the 53-man roster ahead of the 2017 regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday, September 10.
The quarterback position will be one of the main discussions despite rookie DeShone Kizer winning the starting job, and second-year signal-caller Kevin Hogan is part of the reason why there will be meetings leading up to Saturday’s roster cut-down deadline.
“We’ll go back and sit down and make some decisions about which way we’re heading there,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said after Thursday’s 25-0 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. “Again, the guy made a great case for himself tonight. He played well, and he’s done that the last few weeks.”
On in relief of Cody Kessler in the second half against the Bears, Kevin Hogan completed 13 of his 17 throws for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
In order to set up a 53-yard field goal from rookie kicker Zane Gonzalez with 8:34 to play in the third quarter, Hogan and the Browns twice converted third-down attempts on the drive.
On third and six from his own 29-yard line, Hogan completed a short pass to tight end David Njoku on the left side of the formation, and the rookie pass catcher turned it into a 12-yard gain. Then, Hogan found wide receiver Rasheed Bailey for a nine-yard gain on a third and eight from the Browns’ 43-yard line.
After a safety, Hogan needed just four plays to move the ball 70 yards, the final 51 of which came on a touchdown pass to tight end Randall Telfer with 2:04 to play in the third quarter. On the touchdown pass, which gave the Browns a 19-0 lead, Hogan went through his progressions and found a wide open Telfer on the left side of the field after checking through his first and second reads.
On their next possession, Hogan finished off a nine-play, 75-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jordan Leslie, which gave the Browns a 25-0 lead over the Bears with 11:11 to play in the fourth quarter.
Earlier in the drive, Hogan and the Browns faced a third and 14 from their own 39-yard line, but the second-year quarterback calmly took the shotgun snap and found tight end Seth DeValve for a 35-yard gain down the left side of the field.
“He’s just played good,” Jackson said. “Kevin’s on our team for a reason. He’s not here because we don’t think he can play.
“He played last year for us. As a young player, he made some plays in the Cincinnati game, so we know he can play, but he’s just gotten better. He keeps working at it, and these guys, when they get their opportunities, you’ve got to nail it. I think we all saw over the last two weeks, he’s done some really good things.”
During the preseason, Hogan completed 21 of his 32 attempts for 269 yards with a team-best three touchdowns and no interceptions. Hogan added 18 yards on nine carries.
“There are tough decisions we have to make, but we’ll make them, and we’ll move on from there,” Jackson said. “It’s a good problem to have. It’s not a bad problem to have. You’ve got guys that you’ve got to make decisions about, and I think that’s important.”
© 2017 WKYC-TV