As I’ve pointed out a number of times, Browns head coach Hue Jackson doesn’t throw any of his players or assistant coaches under the bus publicly.
He may do so behind closed doors, when no one else can hear it except that player or coach, but he doesn’t embarrass anyone in front of the masses, especially those in the media. It’s just not who he is.
What that having been said, then, let’s take a look at what Jackson said in a statement released by the club Wednesday morning from the coach on his selection of Kevin Hogan as the starter over DeShone Kizer for Sunday’s game against the Texans in Houston. And then, let’s take a look at what Jackson meant.
Here’s the statement, verbatim:
“I’ve made the decision to start Kevin this week. We’ve liked what Kevin has been able to do within our offense when he’s been in there and he will start on Sunday because that’s what we feel is best for our team at this point in time. This does not change the way we feel about DeShone going forward. He has worked extremely hard and still very much has a bright future. Right now, it’s better for him and his development to back up Kevin.”
Now let’s read between the lines, examine Jackson’s mind, heart and soul and see what I very confidently think he meant:
“I’m going with Kevin as the starter. It’s not that I think that Kevin is better than DeShone Kizer, or is closer than DeShone to being the team’s franchise quarterback. There’s no way I’d ever think either of those two things. But for now – right now, this moment, this instant, and perhaps not for any longer than one game – Kevin gives us a better chance to win.
“And we’ve got to win a game. We didn’t win any the last three weeks when we were playing beatable teams in the Bengals, Colts and Jets. So now we’re 0-5 and I’m about ready to lose the locker room – not to mention my mind – if we don’t win a game soon. I don’t know who we’re going to beat because the schedule starts getting a lot tougher from here, but we have to beat somebody, or we’re in big trouble. We’re already in big trouble, but we’d be in even bigger trouble.
“That includes me. I’ve won just one game – one! — in two years. I could get fired. I like being an NFL head coach, so I want to keep my job. Along with that, if I go, so will my assistants, and I don’t want that. I owe it to the players to get a win any way I can get it, but I also owe it to the coaches.
“DeShone needs to stand on the sideline and watch. It’s kind of like an adult time out for him to step back and see the game from a different perspective. If he does that – if he really embraces it and takes it as the tremendous learning opportunity that it is – then I think he’ll come back a lot better. And like I intimated, I don’t think it will take long.
“Kizer’s size is ideal for an AFC North quarterback. Kevin’s is not. For goodness sake, just look at the two guys. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to see that. So considering his size, talent and just about everything else, I’ve got to give DeShone every chance I can to win the job back, and keep it. We drafted him in the second round. Kevin was a rookie free agent. That doesn’t happen by accident.
“Nothing against Kevin, but if I had to put Pee-wee Herman under center in order to win a game, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
“Speaking of heartbeats, I can feel – and almost hear – my heart pounding right now. It’s practically pounding out of my chest, in fact. I’m that nervous. I bet the fans are, too. Plus they’re ticked – at me. I get it. But if we can just win Sunday, then things will get a little better around here. It’s always better when you win. At least that’s what I remember.”