HOUSTON — **DeShone Kizer took a demotion from the starting lineup in stride last week, saying he trusted in head coach Hue Jackson's decision to let him watch from the sidelines this Sunday.
In a loss to the Texans, Jackson said he saw growth out of the rookie quarterback after experiencing highs and lows in five starts.
"I told you guys I wanted to him to see the game from a different lens," Jackson said in his postgame news conference.
Kizer traded his helmet for a ballcap this weekend as Cleveland struggled on both sides of the ball in Houston. In the process, however, Jackson believes the youngster and second-round pick from Notre Dame gleaned a lesson or two from the bench.
"I know you guys all watch the game very closely, but probably in between almost every series, I had conversations with DeShone," he said. "I wanted to make sure he was learning and growing in what he saw. We went back and forth on things."
Kizer showed promise as the Browns' starting quarterback but struggled with turnovers, especially in the red zone. As such, Jackson named second-year backup Kevin Hogan the starter and suggested Kizer might benefit from a brief respite.
"DeShone Kizer has a huge future here with the Cleveland Browns. He needs to continue to grow, continue to get better and he will. There's no question in my mind that he will," he said last week, "but right now, I think this is what's best for our football team and that's the decision that I made."
When Hogan (20/37, 140 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs) struggled in his first NFL start, Jackson said Kizer helped lift up his teammate.
"He was very encouraging. It's definitely nice when – because he hears the play too, so he kind know what the read should be or where we should throw the ball," Hogan said after the game.
"So I would come off and he would let me know what he saw, and we were on the same page. But it was definitely nice for both he and (inactive second-year quarterback) Cody (Kessler) to kind of be extra eyes on the sideline there."
And as Jackson evaluates whether to start Kizer or Hogan against Tennessee this weekend (he'll make a decision by Wednesday) those dynamics could come into play.
"He was really into it. I thought he saw some things that he can grow from," Jackson said. "I heard growth out of him. I think that's what matters."