Who Will Get Volunteered to Start for Browns in Week 1?
Sportsbooks like BetNow.eu favor quarterback Cody Kessler to start under center for the Cleveland Browns in week 1 of the 2017 NFL season. Which would be just like winning the lottery. Shirley Jackson’s Lottery, that is. It’ll probably go down a little something like this:
Hue Jackson: Who wants to be the starting quarterback in week 1 take a step forward?
(Brock Osweiler, DeShone Kizer, and Kevin Hogan all take a step back)
Hue: Thank you, Cody! That’s so brave of you!
If Hue had his way he would probably start Colin Kaepernick, but after last season’s failed Robert Griffin III experiment, let’s just hope general manager Sashi Brown will keep him in check. Speaking of which, Kessler began 2016 as the Browns’ third string QB but became the starter after both RGIII and Josh McCown were injured. Kessler would not escape the season unscathed, though; he suffered a concussion in week 7. Notwithstanding that, he finished the year as Cleveland’s most consistent signal-caller, playing in nine games and starting eight. Kessler threw 128 of 195 (65.6%) for 1,380 passing yards with six touchdowns and two picks in his rookie year.
And speaking of failed experiments, Brock Osweiler found himself banished to Cleveland after failing to bring the Houston Texas to the Promised Land flowing milk and honey. The Texans readily dumped his contract to the Browns in exchange for the Browns’ 2017 fourth-round compensatory pick. And to think he could be the Denver Broncos starting quarterback as we write, had he not felt slighted at being benched in favour of Peyton Manning. If it’d been anyone else, but Peyton ‘freakin’’ Manning! Ghandi himself would have been benched. The hubris of it all! Having said that though, Osweiler is slated to start in the preseason opener, and the QB who has started in the first preseason game has gone on to be the Week 1 starter for Cleveland in every season since 2004, per ESPN Stats and Info.
However, according to football writer at SportingNews.com Vinnie Iyer, the Browns are not playing so much as “showcasing Osweiler.” He added that “The Browns can afford Osweiler to take any lumps against New Orleans’ mostly first-string defense because the former Texan is in no way vital to their 2017 plans.” The way Iyer sees it, the third preseason game – which Kizer is projected to start – will be “the most critical to Jackson’s final choice.” ESPN staff writer Pat McManamon agrees that Kizer still has a shot at the starting job provided that he steps up his game from what we’ve seen in practice and scrimmage.
And that leaves us Kevin Hogan – along with Kessler, the sole remnant of the Browns’ legions of 2016 quarterbacks. Hogan only played four games, but he made the best of them. He set a record for the longest touchdown run by a quarterback in Browns history, became the second Browns quarterback to rush for more than 100 yards in a game, and the first in franchise history to accomplish that as a rookie.
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