Hooley: True story; stop me if you've heard it

DeShone Kizer gets the next, latest chance to end the Browns' game of QB musical chairs

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Do you know what they call it when you try the same thing 27 times in 19 years and expect different results?

That's right. You call it the Cleveland Browns.

After three weeks of training camp and three preseason games, the Browns have decided to go with another new quarterback -- their 27th different starting quarterback in 19 seasons and their fifth different starting quarterback to start the season opener in the last five years.

Congratulations -- if that's the right word -- to rookie DeShone Kizer. He won the job by flashing enough of his potential at the same time two veterans who were given the job ahead of him -- Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler -- wet the bed.

Every snap Kessler takes, it makes me wonder more and more how in the world the Browns saw anything on tape of him at USC to justify wasting a third-round pick on him two seasons ago.

And every time I see Osweiler play, I wonder how in the world he has a 13-8 career record as a starter in the NFL.

Maybe that's why Browns coach Hue Jackson said Kizer's appointment as the starter is permanent.

“This is not just for the moment,” Jackson said. “We hopefully can solve our quarterback issue. We're going to get with DeShone and ride him through this."

Given who else Jackson had to pick from at QB, I think this is the right decision. Yes, I know the Browns' history with highly-drafted QBs is not good.

They've drafted five in the first two rounds of the draft since 1999. The previous four won a combined 32 games, and Tim Couch won 22 of those.

Why will Kizer be different than Couch, Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden or Johnny Manziel?

I'm not promising that he will be different. He completed only 51% of his passes in the preseason and threw for just one touchdown.

But here's the deal. You play Kizer because he gives you the best chance to win, and because if making mistakes while he learns ruins him, then Kizer lacked the toughness necessary to be the real deal in the first place.

I think the Browns are much improved from last year, but that doesn't mean much. They won one game in 2016.

The talent they've added since this time last year -- Myles Garrett, Jabril Peppers, Jamie Collins, Kevin Zeitler, J.C. Tretter and Kizer -- so they no longer have the worst roster in the NFL.

But make no mistake, the Browns are still going to lose their share of heartbreakers, and Kizer is probably going to be the reason why.

He's going to make a ton of mistakes and throw a bunch of interceptions. The Browns will be fortunate if he turns it over closer to 20 times than 30 times.

But Jackson says that no matter what happens, "We're not going to blink about it."

I can't make the same promise. Because as a lifelong Browns fan, I reserve the right to avert my eyes in the interest of self-preservation.


Bruce Hooley

Bruce Hooley

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