CLEVELAND —** As the old saying goes, Kevin Hogan prepared this past week as if he were the Browns' starting quarterback. So when he was actually cast into that role during Sunday's loss to the Jets, the second-year player didn't flinch.
"Being the backup, you have to learn to not be surprised because you can go in at any point," Hogan said in his postgame news conference.
"Injuries can happen. A bunch of different things can happen. You have just got to be ready to go in. I kind of am staying ready at all times and not letting a surprise happen. When they said that I was going in, I was making sure that I knew what was going on defensively for the Jets and what they're doing, staying up to date with it. Just making sure I was ready."
That approach was well served for Hogan, who replaced rookie DeShone Kizer after halftime in what became Cleveland's best-statistical offensive performance of the season. The Browns rolled up a season-high 419 yards while Hogan completed 16-of-19 throws for 194 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also ran four times for 30 yards.
"I felt comfortable out there. Guys were making plays for me," Hogan said. "The O-line blocked tremendously. I was just trying to be efficient."
"He works at it each and every day just like all of the guys do. We all work at it. I'm not surprised by what Kevin has done. He has been doing that since training camp and preseason. He went in there and gave us a chance," head coach Hue Jackson said.
"We have a backup quarterback who came in and did what his job was – to play and give the team the best opportunity. I thought Kevin did some good things."
Perhaps Hogan's most impressive series was a 10-play, 75-yard drive he punctuated with a 21-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Njoku early in the third quarter. It gave the Browns their first lead of the season and Cleveland's offense a much-needed jolt.
After the game, Jackson said Kizer -- who has shown promise amid highs and lows in his rookie campaign -- remains the team's starting quarterback "unless I feel differently" after watching game film. Against that backdrop, Hogan shrugged off questions about potentially starting next week's game at Houston.
"This whole season, I have only focused on what I can control. I think that I would do the team a disservice if I were worrying about outside things," he said.
"My goal leading up to this week is just going to be the same routine, making sure I get my preparation in and do what I'm supposed to do to do my job for these guys."