9 burning questions for Browns QB Kevin Hogan

Hue Jackson likes to refer to Kevin Hogan as "steady Eddy."

That could apply to the former Stanford standout both on and off the field. Little rattles Hogan's poise, whether it be an adverse in-game situation or a flurry of questions from reporters. cornered Hogan for one last interview heading into his first NFL start Sunday in Houston. Walk us through what the week's been like now that you're the starter.

Hogan: It's a lot of the same things. You're preparing the same way, kind of keeping to your routine. You don't want to change too much. When I was playing before, I was trying to prepare as if I was the starter. Obviously some things are a little different, getting more reps in practice, spending more time with the guys, talking through communication and what's going to go down Sunday. Just trying to make sure you're on top of everything and in communication with guys on the team. You mentioned earlier this week that this is your comfort zone because you played so much at Stanford. Was that an advantage for you coming into the league?

Hogan: I think it was definitely an advantage, especially with the offense we were in. It was mostly pro-style so we were handling a lot of the protections and the run game, kills and stuff. I played a lot of games so I saw a lot of things on defense. I pretty much saw it all. I think having that experience and then coming here, it doesn't really surprise me as much. I've seen a lot of it before. Obviously, everyone's a lot better at it at this level, but it's not something that's new. A lot of Browns fans remember what you were able to do last year in Cincinnati with your legs. You rushed a lot in college but not at that level. When you came away from that game, what were you thinking about what you'd just done?

Hogan: That week, I wasn't sure how many reps I was going to get in the game. I was ready to get three, four or five, however many reps but it just kept working. We were able to make positive plays. Then, when I had to come in and play quarterback, it was still there and I was able to take off and run when the pass plays broke down. Then we had our zone-read gains and it just worked out. It's something I'm confident in. I trust my ability. I don't rely on it, but I trust it. I'm never afraid to take off and get a few yards. Have you learned the proper way to take a hit because of all of that running?

Hogan: I learned how in college so I try and protect myself. I try and get down, get out of bounds. I try to be smart with that. What's it meant for your development to be in this system for more than a year?

Hogan: It's night and day from last year. Last year, I got here about Week 1 and I was trying to learn the offense week by week through the game plan installs. I was still kind of unsure how coach wanted each week to be. Then having a full offseason with OTAs and camp to really go through coach explain the way it's supposed to be run, it kind of all makes sense. It's like a light flicks on in your head. That allows you to play so much faster and more confidently knowing what you're seeing, knowing where your guys are going to be. When you react to what the defense is doing and you know where your guys are, you can get the ball out. You worked this offseason with a private coach to improve your footwork. Was that one of the biggest changes you've made to your game?

Hogan: I've always tried to stick with my rhythm. In this kind of offense, it's all about timing so I try and have a very specific rhythm for each drop I take based on the routes that are going out. My footwork was huge this offseason, really kind of shortening my stride and trying to eliminate a long stride, pitching motion. I feel like it's helped a lot. It's still a work in progress, but it's something I'm excited about because I know I can continue to improve on it. It seems like you've had a good connection with David Njoku when you've been out there. Does that go back to being a Stanford guy and playing with so many good tight ends?

Hogan: We like to call ourselves Tight End U. I think five of my tight ends are in the NFL now. I was very lucky to have such great talented tight ends in college. I kind of knew where I could put the ball for those guys and how they run their routes. I'm starting to feel that with our tight ends here, with Seth (DeValve), David and Randall (Telfer). Obviously, David is super talented and gifted and I just kind of throw the ball in his vicinity and he goes up and makes an unbelievable catch. It's really nice having those tight ends work the middle of the field and I'm excited to keep going to them. There's been a lot of turnover at receiver this year, but how would you define your chemistry with them?

Hogan: It's been great. This is my first week really working with the ones. I felt like we had a really good week. For me, it was just about getting completions and feeling comfortable. I know these guys are super eager for this opportunity coming up this Sunday to go against a good defense. I feel like we had a really good week of preparation. Have you heard from any different people than you usually do going into your first NFL start?

Hogan: I'm just going to go out there and try and treat it like a normal game. I'm not going overboard with anything. I'm treating this like a normal game and not let any of the outside stuff get to me. It's a business trip. We're going down there, everyone will be watching. I'm just going to take care of my business.

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