Rookie second-round pick DeShone Kizer got the most playing time in the Cleveland Browns‘ preseason opener Thursday night. And he impressed when given his shot after starter Brock Osweiler (6 of 14 passes for 42 yards in a very 2016-like performance) and No. 2 QB Cody Kessler, who went 0-8 in eight starts last season, came on in relief of Osweiler and completed 5 of 10 passes for 47 yards.
Kizer completed 11 of 18 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown, and missed out on a second score by a few feet when the receiver was stopped just short of the goal line. He showcased the full array of his skills on deep tosses to Richard Mullaney and Jordan Payton.
Despite Kizer looking like the Browns’ most impressive quarterback, coach Hue Jackson apparently is not ready just yet to talk about him possibly opening the season as the starter.
“I think it’s way too early to talk about that,” Jackson said, per ESPN.com. “Let’s see it for what it was: The guy made some plays at the end to give us a chance to win, but there’s still things he needs to do better. I’m sure he’s the first to tell there’s so many things to clean up. He’s got a lot of work to do, but a night like tonight will give him confidence.”
As for his other quarterbacks, “I wasn’t expecting perfection tonight,” Jackson said.
Good thing, because he didn’t come close to getting it.