The Browns have named DeShone Kizer the starting quarterback for Week 1 — which means the law of averages might finally bail them out.
The Cleveland Browns have named DeShone Kizer the starting quarterback for Week 1.
Let that soak in. Enjoy this moment. It’s the sweet grace period between being named the starter and when the whole thing comes flying off the rails.
After playing so well against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday (I root for that team and don’t feel good about it right now), Cleveland officially handed the key over to the first year signal caller out of Notre Dame.
The other option was Brock Osweiler — so consider that when seeing this as a glowing endorsement of Kizer.
Short and sweet, like all Browns quarterback eulogies typically are.
To be fair, Kizer has shown something that no Browns quarterback has ever shown — promise. He lit up the preseason (I know, I know) and passed his first test of competency by not losing a job to Osweiler.
The next test is a little harder. The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to baptize the hell out of Kizer in his regular season debut, both because of superiority and because of the division rival thing.
Setting aside cynicism for a moment, this might actually turn out alright. Rookie quarterbacks who see action from Day 1 aren’t doomed to fail by default. Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota both started the first week of their first seasons and both are widely considered to be the leaders of the next generation of quarterbacks.
Similar to Kizer, both Mariota and Winston started for teams that were atrocious and needed an injection of anything. Cleveland seems to be turning a corner, or at least showing the ability to identify a corner worth turning. With a young defense on the rise in place and weapons on offense, the Browns are in as good a position as they’ve ever been to develop into more than a ghost ship, quietly passing through each NFL season.
But historically, things that should work out for Cleveland don’t. Because it’s Cleveland. We’re talking about a city that once ran off the best basketball player in the world, only to have him come back so he could inexplicably watch the Warriors come out of nowhere to become a dynasty. Mother nature so badly hates Cleveland that when it’s not setting the river on fire, it’s raining out Game 7 of the World Series to give the Indians *just* enough time to figure out how to lose.
Kizer can’t be judged — for better or worse — solely on his preseason performance. It’s easy to kill the Browns for being the butt of every football joke ever, but this might finally be the turning of a new leaf. The results might not (probably won’t) be immediate but for once Cleveland is doing the right thing and it’s going to be fun to see if this finally turns out well.