Although Cody Kessler was third in line to start at quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, he was bound to start eventually based on those in front of him.
The Cleveland Browns always do a great job of ramping up fan optimism and excitement in the offseason.
Fans have already moved on from yet another tough season, and are able to find hope in new hires and new players. Enter Hue Jackson and 14 draft picks, and all seemed well in Cleveland. The team even brought Robert Griffin III on board, promising a career revival of sorts.
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Griffin’s presence was important because it meant the Browns wouldn’t be targeting a quarterback early in the draft, eventually opting for Cody Kessler in the third round. But with both Griffin and Josh McCown ahead on the depth chart, Kessler was supposed to be on the sidelines all season.
But this is the Browns, so thinking that would be the case is just foolish. The team put two notoriously fragile quarterbacks at the top of the depth chart, and it was only a matter of time before both got hurt. Griffin’s was more of a freak injury, but McCown’s came as a result of taking a constant beating against a Baltimore Ravens defense that had its way with the Browns’ offensive line.
With two players who never seem to be able to get through an entire season in front of him, Kessler should have always expected to start in 2016. Few thought it would come as early as Week 3, but the Browns go through so many quarterbacks it is hard to even think of it as frustrating anymore. It’s just how things are.
Kessler is set to start this Thursday’s game against the Ravens, with McCown serving as his backup. The rookie has already been knocked out of games more than once this season, so let’s hope a short week of recovery does not lead to that happening again.
Much of the blame goes to the offensive line, but Kessler has a habit of holding onto the ball for far too long. It is part of the adjustment to the NFL game, but he needs to be much more aware of impending rushers if he wants to stay healthy behind this makeshift line.
It is unfortunate that the Browns have already gone through more quarterbacks in 2016 than other teams have gone through in the past decade, but it is all part of the rebuilding process. At least that’s what the team wants fans to believe.