From the immediate theory that Brock Osweiler (the “destroyer” of the Houston Texans’ season last year) was simply bought for a 2018 second-round pick and most likely to be released before camp if no teams offered a trade – to — here we are with the very same player crowned as pre-season starter and more than likely the starting QB for the season opener.
I have a pretty positive outlook on the decision. It’s low-risk, possibly high reward.
My hope is he could be the next Hoyer.
I fondly remember the Brian Hoyer craze of 2013 and 2014. In fact, I was front and center in the Dawg Pound to witness Hoyer spiral a pass to Josh Gordon literally right in front of me to score a touchdown on the Buffalo Bills. I still swear to this day that Flash and I locked eyes that Thursday night as he hauled in the ball on an over-the-shoulder in the back-middle of the end zone. A few plays later, Hoyer went down with that haunting, season-ending ACL tear. In came Brandon Weeden and I heard things yelled at him from the stands that I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy.
Brandon Weeden started the first two games of the season that year but had played so pathetically that he was benched and Hoyer came in to grab two wins in a row against the Ravens and the Vikings. A sense of trust and hope was percolating for Browns fans until that unfortunate Hoyer injury. Even more, unfortunately, it was a time when the Browns had no competent up and coming QB to take the reins and Brandon Weeden/Jason Campbell finished the year.
Hoyer returned from injury the next season in 2014 as the Browns’ undisputed starter and bridge QB for the next hopeful franchise starter. With Cleveland wit in full swing, “I believe in a HOYER POWER!” became the battle cry for Browns fans as the veteran led the team to seven wins. As fate would have it, Hoyer was again benched in a game against the Bills, but this time for poor play instead of injury. “Here comes Johnny!” – Johnny Manziel finally took the field and we all know how that went.
What would have happened if the Browns had a competent QB to take the reins when Hoyer got benched?
In some ways, I think we will be able to get the answer to that question with Brock Osweiler starting and Deshone Kizer in tow. The Houston debacle aside, I believe that the 5-year pro who has apprenticed under Peyton Manning and flashed as a quality starter in Denver can easily be our equivalent to the 2013-2014 Brian Hoyer. Against all odds, having Osweiler has become a huge positive with how poorly Cody Kessler has performed at camp (he is what he is – the definition of a back-up).
With a top-shelf offensive line and Hue Jackson coaching him (Brock is on record saying, “he’s the best coach to ever coach me”), and a newfound humility – there is no reason Brock should not claim the starting job and find Hoyer-esque success.
Some will say that Brock has already had his chance and showed his true colors as a bum quarterback. I think the stronger argument can be made that he and Bill O’Brien had a toxic relationship. And I’m recently reminded of Rich Gannon’s story, who bounced around the NFL until he was 39 and became the out-of-nowhere league MVP on the Oakland Raiders, where he found the right change of scenery.
It already sounds like Brock has found the right landscape like Gannon finally did and we get him at 26! The best-case scenario is that Brock plays well and gets us some wins this season to give Kizer some time to learn the NFL game and pace. If he goes down like Hoyer after some games or if the Browns come to the place where they are ready to start the rookie over him, this time we have a competent up-and-comer in Kizer to take the reins instead of reaching for Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell or Johnny.
This year Cleveland Brocks until the Kizer Show.
Follow the author: @ChadPainterEXP
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