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Need to Know: Hue Jackson identifies standout players from preseason win

Posted Aug 11, 2017

Cleveland rallied past New Orleans, 20-14, Thursday in its preseason opener

The Browns kicked off the preseason with a comeback victory over the Saints last night.

Here’s what you need to know from coach Hue Jackson, who broke down the win Friday on a conference call with reporters:

— Jackson said rookie DeShone Kizer, who passed for 184 yards and the game-winning touchdown, took a step forward in his development, though he’s not ready to retool Cleveland’s quarterback rotation. “I just think that’s too soon. I don’t feel very comfortable and that’s why I haven’t made that decision,” Jackson said. “Again, I think there’s a process to all of this. I think we’re just in the beginning phases of it for him.

“You want to do what’s best for your team and for your players. It’s not just because people see a bomb that is thrown down the field for 45 yards,” he continued, referencing Kizer’s late touchdown pass to Jordan Payton. “There’s more to playing quarterback than just that. We’re not there yet … When it’s the right time to make the decision that we feel is right to say, ‘This is the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns for 2017,’ then we’ll make that decision.”

Kizer is competing with Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan to be the team's starter this fall.

— After watching the tape, Jackson said he was impressed with how rookie defensive end Myles Garrett produced in limited playing time. “He did some really good things. The initial quickness of Myles off the ball was outstanding,” Jackson said. “He played the run extremely well. He came very close to having a sack one time where he got inside of an offensive tackle, hit the quarterback and brought him down. I loved the hustle plays that he made. I thought he had a good game last night, and he has to continue to build on that as we move forward.”

Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, had a tackle-for-loss and quarterback hurry in three series of actions.

— Two players who also caught Jackson’s attention? Defensive lineman Nate Orchard and linebacker Joe Schobert, both of whom are vying for key roles on a new-look Browns defense.  “They’re guys who have been fighting for opportunities,” Jackson said, “and they got them last night.”

Schobert, who’s competing to be Cleveland's starting middle linebacker in his second season, recorded two tackles, a sack, a pass breakup and quarterback hurry. Orchard, who missed most of last year with a ankle injury and moved from linebacker to the defensive line this past offseason, had two tackles, a partial sack and hurry.

— Jackson said third-year safety Ibraheim Campbell has entered the league's concussion protocol. Campbell, who was injured on the first series of Thursday night’s game, drew applause when he was able to walk off the field after a cart was brought out to take him to the locker room.

— With veteran and 10-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas off for the night, the Browns started former first-round pick Cameron Erving at left tackle and second-year standout Shon Coleman on the opposite side. Jackson said he saw a mix of highs and lows from the two young players.

On Erving:  “I think there were a couple plays that Cam wishes he had back, but when I watched the tape, I didn’t see… I was expecting the same thing that you guys saw, but when I watched the tape, it wasn’t as bad as I think we all thought. Things are never as bad as you think they are, and they are never as good as you think they are. I thought he did some really good things.”

On Coleman: “He battled. He did some things, but there are some things to improve on and some things to work through. We have to make sure that we have a little bit better anchor from time to time. That is as much football as he has played here last night. He has to continue to get better.”

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