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Kessler Competentence Gaining Recognition

The Browns are 0-5. However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Kessler. Although he has only played in three of the team’s five games he certainly hasn’t carried himself as a rookie. In the two games in which he’s played significant time he has averaged 233.5 yards. Behind what is one of the worst lines in the NFL Kessler has compiled a quarterback rating of 87.9, not bad with only Terrelle Pryor as a weapon to fear. The one area that he hasn’t made much of an impact is the scoreboard. He had only two touchdowns and one interception.

Kessler can continue to build his relationship with Pryor against a Titans defence that has allowed a pretty reasonable 20.2 points a game. That number shouldn’t be a problem because the Browns have averaged a disappointing 17.4 yards. Despite being injured on Sunday’s 33-13 demolition at the hands of Brady and the Patriots, Kessler is preparing like he’ll start this week. Hue Jackson isn’t the only one impressed with the rookie. Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins said, “We’ve consistently moved the football since Cody’s taken over and that’s tough to do for a rookie third-round quarterback who was third on the depth chart three weeks ago. If he wouldn’t have gotten hurt, our expectations don’t change because we’re playing a great football team, which the Patriots were, but once he gets hurt, that’s who’s been practicing all week and it’s tough.”

Sep 1, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler (5) throws a pass as Chicago Bears outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (94) chases during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Bears won 21-7. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Although Kessler has flashed in his time as the starter for the Browns it’s important that he’s on the field. The Browns currently have the first overall pick and the 24th pick (via their trade with the Eagles) in the first round. With players like Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Ole Miss Chad Kelly expected to be available in the draft Kessler must prove he’s the quarterback of the future in Cleveland.

Even the Browns know It’s a hard life being a Browns quarterback (Just ask Charlie Whitehurst who made his Browns debut on Sunday, completed 14 of 24 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown and then left injured before getting waived with an injury settlement). It’s also hard being a rookie in the NFL, despite several current exceptions. But as they look to the future the Browns made the surprising move of promoting former Stanford signal caller, Kevin Hogan. He’ll move to the active roster from the practice squad and if he plays he’ll be the second rookie to line up under centre for the Browns. Hogan could be worth a look as a backup down the line and will provide a similar skill set to Kessler. At Stanford he was no stranger to scoring, amassing 75 passing touchdowns and with 29 interceptions.

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With Josh McCown nursing his own injury and listed as third on the team’s depth chart it looks probable that the Browns will get to see more of one of their rookies. If either can step up it’s one less piece for the Browns to worry about. And with Pryor growing in confidence as a receiver the Browns could be about to lose their 0.

Will Cleveland play a second rookie QB this year?

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