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DeShone Kizer launches Browns to win over Saints


After forcing some throws into coverage during the Orange and Brown Scrimmage last week, Kizer was noticeably careful in the pocket on his first drive, often waiting an extra beat before letting it fly. He did the same before deciding to abandon the pocket and eventually getting sacked. One play before the 52-yard completion above, he held onto the ball for far too long, resulting in another sack.

But as the game progressed and second teamers became third teamers, Kizer settled in as much as a rookie can in his first game.

Barring a world-beating preseason from Kizer and a drastic change in approach by Hue Jackson, the quarterback will begin the season as an understudy to Osweiler, Kessler, or both. That won't be entirely Kizer's fault, but it's best for the rookie.

It's been covered plenty already: Cleveland will only have to pay Osweiler's exorbitant salary for this season. Osweiler was flat-out bad early, then rebounded with a nice drive that ended with the Browns failing to score inside New Orleans' 3-yard line. Play-by-play man Mike Patrick gushed over Osweiler's finish and was surprised to see he finished 6-of-14 passing for 42 yards. Frankly, it wasn't that surprising.

Kessler should get the start next week (unless Jackson wants to double down on Osweiler with the ones), with Kizer again taking the majority of the second half. If the Browns are forward thinkers -- we believe they could be -- they'll wait until Week 4 of the preseason to give Kizer a start.

In the meantime, the Kizer jerseys will fly off the shelves (it's the way things work in Northeast Ohio), the hype will build and the stat line -- 11 for 18, 184 yards, one touchdown -- will be repeated over and over. While it was a great start, the rookie still has a ways to go to ascend to the throne.