Browns head coach Hue Jackson made the decision official Monday morning that Brock Osweiler will start the preseason opener Thursday against the New Orleans Saints.
This really wasn’t a surprise to me as people have been talking the last few days that he’s been the best of the quarterbacks throughout camp so far despite not having any reps with the first team offense. Friday’s scrimmage showed Osweiler could move an offense down the field as he moved the second string against the first team defense.
The rotation for Thursday’s game at the quarterback will go Osweiler, Cody Kessler, DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan.
People had speculated that Kizer would be the guy but I think this decision is telling in Kizer’s development thus far. I think Coach Jackson believes that Kizer still isn’t quite ready to take the reigns of the franchise just yet but is getting there.
Starting Osweiler for the immediate future allows Kizer to hopefully keep working some with the first team during training camp while still learning the playbook and how to work out of an NFL huddle.
There’s still a chance he could start the regular season opener September 10th against Pittsburgh especially if Osweiler doesn’t show any promise with the first team offense against New Orleans and likely against the New York Giants two weeks from Monday night.
This also marks a question about Cody Kessler’s status with the team. He had been the number one guy the entire offseason and throughout training camp so far but will not be the starter. Kessler has thrown the ball accurately but the arm strength and ability to throw downfield is still his weakness and will ultimately be his downfall in the NFL.
I think it’s obvious Hue Jackson knows what he’s going to get out of Kessler and now wants to see what Osweiler can bring to the offense for the time being.
As for trading Osweiler like I’ve suggested, the Browns did talk to Miami about a possible deal. According to Denver radio host and NFL insider Benjamin Allbright, Miami wanted Cleveland to eat more than half of Osweiler’s contract but Cleveland wanted multiple draft picks so a deal never materialized.
A trade could still happen at some point during the preseason but I would expect Cleveland to hold onto Osweiler for now.