Friday, August 4, 2017

Exercising quarterback patience

Full disclosure: I did not see Friday night's Orange & Brown scrimmage from my commodious  – and very hot outside – dwelling in Goodyear, Ariz.

That said, here are some observations based on posts on a few Web sites by those who witnessed the scrimmage one way or the other.

It was just a scrimmage. No need yet to make pronouncements as to who (whom?)  should be the starting quarterback against Pittsburgh in the season opener based on that scrimmage.

No need to wonder whether Kevin Hogan, who is said to have looked better than Cody Kessler, is really better than Kessler based on a meaningless scrimmage.

No need to pronounce Brock Osweiler as the starting quarterback against the Steelers based on what some observers believed was the best performance of the evening.

No need to get bent out of shape based on how those quarterbacks performed. One scrimmage does not tell all. It doesn’t come even close. And anyone who makes declarations based on what they saw has no clue as to how this works.

Rookie DeShone Kizer, from all indications, looked like a rookie. Kessler did not look any different than he did last season when he started – and lost – eight games. And Osweiler looked better than expected.

That could change as quickly as how they perform in the first exhibition game against the New Orleans Saints next Thursday night at home. And even then, the picture probably will still be out of focus.

Coach Hue Jackson, whose job very well could depend on how he handles the quarterback situation, is not going to make a snap decision based on what he sees in the next few weeks.

Whoever wins the competition will do so by stepping up and making the coach’s job easier by making plays on a fairly consistent basis. Keeping mistakes at a minimum will also factor in his final decision.

He must consider the daily barrage of questions on who (whom?) has taken the lead in the quarterback race almost comical. How many times can he say, “We still haven’t made a decision. We’ll let you know when we do.”

The daily exercise of grilling Jackson will nevertheless continue because, well, because that’s just the nature of the job on both sides of that story.

So sit back, pay little or no attention to the daily probing until the week before the third exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 26 in Florida. That is when you’ll find out who (whom?) your starter will be against the Steelers.

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