Hogan gets the nod at QB against Texans
‘Next week is another game,’ Jackson says about Kizer playing again
After five straight losses to open the season with rookie DeShone Kizer at quarterback, the Browns are moving on to starter No. 28.
Kevin Hogan, acquired on waivers six days before the start of the 2016 season, will start on Oct. 15 when the Browns play the Texans in Houston, Coach Hue Jackson announced on Oct. 11. Hogan When: 1 p.m., Oct. 15 Where: NRG Stadium, Houston Records: Browns 0-5, Texans 2-3 TV: WOIO Radio: WKNR-AM 850, WKRKFM 92.3, WNCX-FM 98.5
will become the 28th quarterback to start for the Browns since they returned to the NFL as an expansion team in 1999.
“I just think it was the best chance to give our offense a chance to stay in rhythm and play consistently over four quarters,” Jackson said after practice. “See if Kevin can do it. Obviously, he’s done that in games. We’ve moved the ball. We’ve done some good things there. I just want to see if I can see him do that for a whole game. See where it goes.
“I’m not going to say I am weekto-week mode. Let’s see where we are. Kevin is this week. Next week is another game. We’ll go from there.”
Jackson benched Kizer at halftime of the game with the Jets on Oct. 8. Hogan played the second half and threw two touchdown passes – a 21-yard completion to rookie tight end David Njoku and a screen pass that Duke Johnson turned into a 41-yard scoring play. Hogan also rushed four times for 30 yards.
“I think people think that I’m doing this because I’m maybe disappointed in certain things (with Kizer),” Jackson said. “I knew that this potentially could happen. You guys continue to write I said, ‘I would ride with him through it’ – and I have – but also, I have to ride this football team. It’s not just about one guy. It is about the team. At the end of the day, I have to do what I think is best to give our team the best opportunity to win. That is what this is all about. Nothing more, nothing less.
“DeShone Kizer has a huge future here with the Cleveland Browns. He needs to continue to grow and continue to get better, and he will. There is no question in my mind that he will, but right now, I think this is what is best for our football team and that is the decision that I made. I sure hope (Kizer starts again this season.)”
Hogan was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2016 draft with the 165th overall pick. He was waived in the final cuts and claimed by the Browns before the Chiefs could sign him to their own practice squad. He began last season on the Browns’ practice squad and was elevated to the 53-man roster last Oct. 11 – exactly one year before he won the starting job this season.
“I’m excited,” Hogan said before practice. “It’s another opportunity to go out there and play some ball, which I love. I played a lot of games in college (at Stanford), and when I was out there the other day, it felt like I was in college again.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity. I’m going to prepare my butt off this week for the guys around me and make sure they have confidence in me and trust me to lead them so that I’m feeling good going into Sunday.”
Hogan has played in three of the first five games in 2017, all in a substitute role. He completed 5 of 11 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens while Kizer recovered from a migraine.
Kizer, the 52nd pick of the 2017 draft, can still be a franchise quarterback, Jackson said. Kizer has completed 81 of 159 passes for 851 yards with three touchdown passes and nine interceptions. His passer rating is 49.5. He is not pouting.
“If another opportunity comes up to me to step back out on that field, I have to be the best version of myself,” Kizer said. “Now, it’s just going to take a little longer before I get back out there, which has given me more opportunity to become the best quarterback in this league.
“The man (Jackson) has a plan. The plan was for me to be the starter all year. Yeah, it took an adjustment, but once again, there’s a lot of thought that goes into a situation like this. I completely trust the process that he has set up for me.”
Hogan has completed 26 of 38 passes for 377 yards with three touchdown passes and two interceptions. He has a 104.8 passer rating.
Browns quarterback Kevin Hogan, shown during the Oct. 8 game, will start when the Browns take on the Texans in Houston.
Browns quarterback Kevin Hogan passes during a game against the Jets on Oct. 8.