BEREA, Ohio -- Rookie DeShone Kizer will start at quarterback for the Cleveland Browns when they play the Buccaneers in Tampa on Saturday in their third preseason game. He was third in the rotation in the first game and second in the second game.
Head coach Hue Jackson has not named Kizer the starter for the season opener against the Steelers, but admitted Kizer would have to play poorly to not win the starting job.
"He keeps passing every test, and there's still another one to pass," Jackson said. "I mean here we come this Saturday night against a good defensive football team in Tampa on the road in the heat. There are a lot of different elements he's going to have to deal with. So, here's another opportunity. But he's been knocking down everything I've put before him. So here we are."
Kizer has led the Browns to three touchdowns and a field goal in a little more than three quarters of playing time.
Quarterback coach David Lee raved about Kizer's football IQ, and when asked about that, Jackson said, "When we drafted this young man, we spent a lot of time with him. He has talent, ability and the football IQ. He has been here with us for quite a while so we have seen him grow through this process with him. He has done a good job that way. He works at it. It is important to him. We are teaching him how we want our quarterback to perform, prepare and all of those different things. That is a challenge for anybody because we do ask a lot. I'm sure other teams do, too, across the National Football League.
"As a quarterback, you kind of live along a lonely road a little bit. You come here early. You stay late. You get rid of distractions and turn the phones off. You have to kind of shut everybody out because you have to find your process that works for you. We are in the process of finding what is best for him. How is he going to get all of this information, get it in and then be able to give it back to his teammates? He is going through it, but he has done a great job. He doesn't run from it. He kind of runs to it. He understands, and he knows what that is going to take if he really wants this job. This is not for everybody. I think we all know that. There are a lot of people who can't do it at a high level consistently, but if you are, there is a lot that goes into it. I think he's finding that out, and I think he is up to the challenge of doing it."
--Starting inside linebacker Tank Carder suffered a torn ACL playing against the Giants and is lost for the season. Joe Schobert, a 2016 fourth-round draft pick, is replacing Carder.
"He's extremely bright," Jackson said of Schobert. "That's the quarterback of our defense, so he has a lot of input and say from snap to snap what our defense does, so he kind of kind of controls that, and that's a perfect fit for him."
Schobert was an outside linebacker as a rookie. He shed 25 pounds for his new role.
--Veteran defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was cut after beginning training camp as a starter. The Browns drafted defensive tackles Larry Ogunjobi and Caleb Brantley and like what they've seen from Trevon Coley. The success of the younger players made Bryant expendable.