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Kevin Hogan to replace DeShone Kizer as starting QB for Browns

BEREA, Ohio -- Kevin Hogan will be the new starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns when they play the Houston Texans on Sunday, coach Hue Jackson announced Wednesday.

"It's not so much 0-5, it's how we're playing on offense," Jackson told reporters. "I know everybody keeps thinking it's the record. I have a vision for this offensive football team and I know how this offense works. That's what I have to get it to. I don't care how we go about that. We just got to do it."

Hogan, who will make the first start of his career, replaces rookie DeShone Kizer, who was benched after halftime of Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Jets.

"I'm excited," Hogan said. "It's another opportunity to go out there and play some ball, which I love. I played a lot of games in college and, when I was out there the other day, it felt like I was in college again. I'm looking forward to the opportunity."

The offense has struggled under Kizer, who is last in the NFL in Total QBR (18.4) and has thrown the most interceptions (nine). He is 81-of-159 (50.9 percent) with three touchdowns and 12 sacks this season, and in the past five-plus quarters he has played, the Browns were held scoreless.

"You want to do whatever you can to be out there playing," Kizer said. "I don't play this game to sit on the bench. So now it's about accepting this as a challenge and doing whatever I can to get back out there and once again be the best quarterback, the best version of myself that I can be when I do get back out there."

Jackson had gone to Kizer as his starter when the season began, saying he would stick with the rookie through all the growing pains. However, he has changed that position.

"I'll say it again: DeShone Kizer has a huge future here with the Cleveland Browns," Jackson said. "He needs to continue to grow, continue to get better, and he will. There's no question in my mind that he will. But right now I think this is what's best for our football team and this is the decision that I've made."

Hogan now gets his chance as the 28th quarterback to start for the Browns since 1999. He spent the offseason as the fourth quarterback in a three-player competition for the starting job. He did not play in the first preseason game, but eventually earned the backup role ahead of Brock Osweiler (released) and Cody Kessler (No. 3).

"We're getting toward the middle of the season and we're just trying to get a win, so that's all that's on my mind ... all that's on the minds of everyone in this locker room," Hogan said. "I'm not worrying about what's down the road for me. It's just one day at a time."

Against the Jets, Hogan went 16-of-19 and led the Browns on two touchdown drives. This season he is 26-of-38 for 377 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating is 104.8, and the offense has scored 31 points in about three quarters of play with him at the helm. He also has rushed five times for 35 yards.

The Browns hope the time on the sidelines will help Kizer refocus.

"[Jackson's] completely riding with me still," Kizer said. "He's just going to ride with me from a new angle. He felt this offense needed a spark, and they're going to do that with Kevin. I believe that he's going to still ride with me throughout this time that I'm not the starter in making sure that I'm continuing to develop through reps in practice and learning from Kevin as he's out there leading the team."

Hogan was a fifth-round pick of the Chiefs a year ago out of Stanford. The Browns signed him to the practice squad when the Chiefs released him after the 2016 preseason, then promoted him to the active roster in October.

Related Video
Hogan, Kizer address Browns QB change
Hogan, Kizer address Browns QB change
Cleveland has decided to start QB Kevin Hogan over rookie QB DeShone Kizer on Sunday against Houston, Kizer says he's accepted this as a challenge and will do anything he can to get back out there.

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