BEREA, Ohio -- As the first preseason game approaches, the Cleveland Browns are wading in the muck with their quarterback situation.
Nobody really has won the job, and at no point has it become clear that one player deserves the job.
Friday's scrimmage didn't do much to clear up the situation. Browns coach Hue Jackson said that if there is any change in the order of the guys competing, it will show in Monday's practice. A decision, he said, would indicate who can score points against the Saints and "who I think can be the guy," though he'd leave the door open if things don't go well.
Here's a look at who helped and who hurt themselves in what was essentially an egg-dropped-on-the-sidewalk kind of scrimmage night and a Saturday practice that was a scrimmage without tackling:
Stock up: Brock Osweiler
Osweiler looked the most comfortable and got some things accomplished, and he did it with the second-team offense against the first-team defense. No stats were kept, but Osweiler had a nice throw to Jordan Leslie in a two-minute drill and audibled out of a short run on third down to take a shot down the field against man coverage. He also told the tale of running a play and not getting the result he wanted; when the helmet headset later went out, Osweiler pulled a "heck with it." He ducked in the huddle and called the same play and got the result he wanted. That's a little bit of gumption that comes with experience. Osweiler didn't set new standards for the position -- the second-team offense managed three field goals -- but he did look the most comfortable and most energetic on the field. On Saturday, Osweiler completed 5 of 5 on a TD drive, including a deep throw down the sideline to Rannell Hall. It would not be in the least surprising if he were with the starters on Monday. If he is, it will be for the first time since he joined the team.
Stock down: Cody Kessler
Kessler's performance is why Osweiler could start in the preseason opener against New Orleans, and maybe even Week 1 against Pittsburgh. When Kessler first started as a rookie, he threw for 244 and 223 yards in close losses to Miami and Washington. He had a bunch of yards late in a loss to Tennessee, but he has not matched that level of production or performance since. In camp and in the scrimmage, he does not looked comfortable. He's taken sacks, and his continued emphasis on underneath throws does not exactly buttress the claim he improved his arm strength in the offseason. In two of his three series against the second-team defense, he went three-and-out. Jackson has given the impression he hoped Kessler would win the job and start against Pittsburgh, but Kessler has not yet backed up his coach's faith. He had probably his best throw of camp on Saturday with a 20-some-yard deep-in to Leslie in traffic, but followed a few plays later by staring down a back and allowing Jamie Collins to bring an interception back 70-some yards for a TD. He still has time, and the easy thing would be to start him against New Orleans because he's been the guy out there first, but he has to stop the slide if he hopes to keep the job.
Stock down: DeShone Kizer
This would not be a steep drop, mind you, but it would be enough of a drop to put the brakes on the hopes that were growing in camp. Judging Kizer against Kessler and Osweiler can be misleading because the good throws Kizer makes stand out more when the other two aren't getting a lot done. In the scrimmage, Kizer looked like a rookie who still has a lot to learn. Concerns about his accuracy linger from college, and in all practices and the scrimmages he's completing 51 percent of his passes, according to unofficial numbers kept by ESPN Cleveland. That's just not good enough. Kizer deserves credit for guiding the offense to the 15 on his last possession, but he did not finish the drive while facing second-team and third-team players, some of whom won't be in the NFL after preseason. The scrimmage stressed that the Browns might be need to be patient with him. Jackson admitted it was an "eye-opening" experience for Kizer. That being said, it would also not be surprising if Jackson decided he needs to see Kizer in live action Thursday, which means Kizer would get snaps in the first half. The flip side: Kizer is 21 and learning to call plays in the huddle and make pre-snap reads for the first time in his life. There is plenty of time for him to grow without being rushed.
Stock up: Kevin Hogan
Sometimes it helps to be the guy not in the spotlight. For whatever it's worth, Jackson for the first time mentioned four quarterbacks when he discussed the team's situation on Friday. That at least puts Hogan in the discussion, something that hasn't happened to this point. One thing Hogan does is get rid of the ball, and he has done it better than Kessler. The offense's biggest play was a 42-yard throw Hogan made to Jordan Payton. In live work, Myles Garrett would have obliterated Hogan, but that doesn't change the fact that Hogan completed a nice pass. It's tough to see Hogan carrying a team through an entire season, but he did help himself in the scrimmage.