Executive vice president Sashi Brown said in a radio interview Tuesday that 2017 second-round pick DeShone Kizer does not have to play until he's ready. It sounds as though it might take some time before Kizer will be set to handle an NFL start.
"Yeah, I think ideally we'd come in and be able to give DeShone some time," Brown told WRKR-AM in Cleveland. "Again, [coach] Hue talked [Jackson] about this well, I think he talked about not preventing him from going out there and doing anything but making sure he understands that he doesn't feel like he has to have the pressure on him to be the Week 1 starter or even the 2017 starter at some point. We like Cody, we like Brock [Osweiler], we like Kevin [Hogan] and we'll see how that plays out. But he doesn't need to feel that pressure certainly. Again, he's a young man, he's gonna have a long time that he's here with us and in this league. If things go the way I'm sure he's planning on it and the way we hope it goes, so we don't have to rush it."
I've railed against the clean quarterback transition theory many times and I'm not about to pretend it's going to work with the Browns this time around. Any club thinking there will be a progression; a clean handoff from Guy A to Guy B without the situation getting toxic or, at the least, complicated is either an eternal optimist or Bill Belichick.
Yes, Kizer possesses extraordinary size and strength. His control over Notre Dame's offense was reminiscent of an NFL quarterback's. But he has a long way to go, which is why nearly every NFL team had the opportunity to pass on him once (or twice) before he fell to Cleveland in the second round.
The challenge for Cleveland will be to stick to whatever plan it lays out for itself at the start of the 2017 season. It seemed the Browns were willing to stick with Robert Griffin III before injuries derailed all their work in the offseason. That made any formulaic process at the position impossible.
This season gives them another chance to get it right. As of now, getting it right seems to potentially include keeping Kizer on the bench while he acclimates.