The answer in his last outing was two. Kizer was playing fairly well on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. He completed 12 of his first 18 passes for 114 yards, all in the first half. That’s not getting him a spot in the Hall of Fame, but it seemed like progress. Then he threw two interceptions and was benched.
Browns coach Hue Jackson is going back to Kizer, the team announced Wednesday. He’ll start Sunday in London against the Minnesota Vikings. When Kizer was benched for Week 6 and Kevin Hogan started, Jackson said he thought Kizer learned the lessons he wanted him to learn. Now maybe Kizer has learned more lessons from his in-game benching in Week 7. Or, maybe the rookie has had his confidence ruined and will be looking over his shoulder with every errant pass. Either way.
The Browns have to figure out what they want. If they are desperate for wins at 0-7 – and this coaching staff that has lost 22 of 23 games probably should be – they should play the quarterback who gives them the best chance to win. If that’s Kizer, fine. Then stick with him even through the inevitable rookie mistakes. If player development is their goal – and since they’re not exactly making the playoffs this season, that is the objective that’s best for the franchise – then quit yanking Kizer around. It’s not like the Philadelphia Eagles hooked Carson Wentz (sorry, Browns fans) for every mistake as a rookie, and he has benefited from that this season.
When the Browns turned to Kizer as their starting quarterback at the beginning of the season, they had to know he was raw and there would be mistakes. Doing this weekly dance of waiting until he makes one or two of those mistakes and pulling him for Hogan or Cody Kessler or whichever quarterback the Browns have stashed on the bench isn’t good for anyone.
But Kizer gets another shot in Week 8. We’ll see how long it lasts this time.
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