The Browns might’ve gone one step too far in their youth movement. Surprisingly, it could be at the quarterback position.
Cleveland jettisoned veterans over the past couple seasons, and most recently dumped signal callers Josh McCown and Brock Osweiler. Osweiler isn’t exactly a prize, but McCown has been serviceable with the Jets and is a renowned locker room presence.
That’s where ditching him may have been a mistake. Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who’s struggled mightily in four losses, admitted having a wiser player to turn to would help.
“It would be valuable to have a guy who has been through this and understands it all,” Kizer said. “But when you have a quarterbacks coach in coach (Hue) Jackson, essentially I already have that. The conversations that we have are more on a personal level where we can share thoughts and create dialogue. It is not just coach talking down to a player. That relationship in itself is something that I have used as a mentor tool, but also, I will go elsewhere. I have some good relationships with guys who have played in this league outside of this locker room, and I try to use them as much as I possibly can.”
The other Browns quarterbacks, Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler, are fellow youthful signal callers. Perhaps Cleveland misjudged the importance of leadership in the second year of a major retool.