Yes, 26 different NFL quarterbacks have tried. And all of them have failed in securing perhaps the most dangerous job in American sports. Starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.
From Tim Couch to Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden to most recently Cody Kessler, Cleveland has been the proverbial graveyard where quarterbacks go to die.
For whatever rhyme or reason, the franchise that had the likes of Hall of Famers such as Otto Graham, Frank Ryan, NFL MVP’s such as Brian Sipe and Super Bowl champions such as Bernie Kosar—with the Dallas Cowboys—cannot seem to solve football’s most important and vital position.
The Cleveland Browns, who went thru six different quarterbacks in 2016 in Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, converted wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, and Charlie Whitehurst, may finally be on the right track heading into the 2017-18 season.
With Kessler a year smarter, newly-acquired Brock Osweiler bringing a winning Super Bowl mentality—despite flopping in Houston—and rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, taken in the second round out of Notre Dame, it is Kizer who may come out of nowhere to possibly start Week 1 at home vs. Pittsburgh.
Yes! I have been on the proverbial Kessler bandwagon since last season, despite coming into OTA’s looking more of a potential starter in bulking up his arm strength, the two concussions he suffered as a rookie behind a porous offensive line—that has since been revamped—signing veteran wideouts such as Kenny Britt and drafting athletic tight ends such as David Njoku, gives Cleveland its best projected offense in recent memory.
Depending on how WR Corey Coleman comes back from a hamstring injury, that limited his participation in OTA’s, Kizer would be the perfect triggerman behind Hue Jackson’s West Coast offense.
At 6’4 and 233 pounds, Kizer is tailor-made for the brutal AFC North. Unlike Kessler, Kizer offers a strong NFL-quality arm, surprising mobility, and athleticism for his size as well as adding a new dimension in being able to run the read-option.
During his two seasons in South Bend, Kizer rushed for close to 1,000 yards (972) and 18 touchdowns. If the Browns hope to keep the opposing defense on their heels and honest, Kizer under center makes the most sense.
It’s a long way to training camp, pre-season football and Week 1 vs. the hated Pittsburgh Steelers at home, but based on all of the reports emanating from Berea about Kizer, do not be shocked if he lines up under center.