BEREA, Ohio--Will DeShone Kizer play as a rookie? Will he be the starter come opening day?
Chances are pretty good that the answer to that question is 'Yes'.
No matter what the Browns say about letting rookies sit and learn, the Browns usually end up playing everyone on their roster and sometimes more through injury and attrition.
That was originally the plan for non-first round draft quarterbacks such Cody Kessler in 2016. That was the plan for Colt McCoy in 2010, as well.
The Browns have started at least two different quarterbacks in every season 2002 after Tim Couch started all 16 games in the 2001 season. Since then, at least three quarterbacks have started games for the Browns eight times, including the past five seasons.
Last year, the Browns used six different quarterbacks, if you include Terrelle Pryor. Robert Griffin III started the season and was hurt and replaced by Josh McCown, who was also injured and then Kessler was thrown into the fray. Along the way, Charlie Whitehurst was signed, along with Kevin Hogan and they both found their way on to the field after Kessler was injured, even though neither started any games.
In 2015, the Browns used McCown, Johnny Manziel and Austin Davis as starters in games.
In 2014, Brian Hoyer, Manziel and Connor Shaw all took their turns. Even going back to 2012 and 2013, the Browns employed three quarterbacks in the season.
You get the idea.
The 2011 season was the last time the Browns started just two quarterbacks, after starting three in 2010.
After the Browns drafted Kizer with the 52nd overall pick in the second-round, Hue Jackson was asked if Kizer would have a chance to compete for a starting position as a rookie.
“I think we are going to give all of our guys an opportunity to compete," Jackson said. "I think that is what it is all about. It is not about who is the starter and who is this. Let’s let these guys get here and learn our offense, spend time with myself and (quarterbacks) Coach (David) Lee and go out onto the field and let’s see how it all turns out.”
Kizer said he will be patient, but is willing to do what it takes to put himself in a position to play this season.
“Being the competitor that I am, I think that the best way to go out and contribute is to be playing yourself so I am going to be doing whatever I can to learn as fast as I can and as quickly as I can to play," Kizer said. "That is the reason you play football is to play and not to sit around and watch from the sidelines. I will do whatever it takes to contribute as quickly as I can.”
Kizer said he wants to be an asset for the Browns and a player that can be counted on as quickly as he can be.
“Absolutely," Kizer said. "As soon as they made that call, the first thing you think of is having that jersey on, that orange helmet and being able to compete and becoming an asset as quickly as I possibly can to this team. At the same time, there is a lot of work so those thoughts of having that orange helmet quickly turn over to how fast can I get into that playbook and learn as much as I possibly can.”
With Kessler, Hogan and Brock Osweiler currently on the roster, there's a good chance that Kizer could find himself on the field sooner-than-later as Kessler and Hogan don't have a whole lot more experience than Kizer does. The Browns have been open about trying to trade Osweiler or possibly releasing him prior to training camp and no one knows what they will ultimately do with him.
Sashi Brown said that Kizer showed in the predraft process that he was eager to learn and took some of the coaching that Jackson and the coaches gave him in workouts prior to the draft and has taken them to heart.
“One of the things that we found in talking with him was that he had really been self-reflective on some of the things that he wanted to improve upon, and he is already working on those things and has been through the offseason," Brown said. "That is one of the things you want to see in a young quarterback, now and he is obviously very young and now being able to get out into a good situation here and a good quarterback room with teammates but also obviously with David and Hue.”
Jackson likes that Kizer has shown that he is coachable.
“I think the beautiful part of it was he was able to take that instruction and improve," Jackson said. "I think we saw that in our workout. That was outstanding. He is very coachable. He wants to work at it, and I think that is what it is going to take. We will find out how good this guy can be over time.”
Jackson likes Kizer's (6-4, 230) size to play in the AFC North.
“It is important," Jackson said. "We like to have that all the time, but we know that quarterbacks come in all different shapes and sizes and ability to throw the ball, but this guy has all the measureables that you look for.”