BEREA: Browns coach Hue Jackson famously told fans and media “you’ve got to trust me” when questioned about the franchise’s choice to draft quarterback Cody Kessler in the third round last year.

A day after naming rookie DeShone Kizer the starting quarterback, Jackson made another bold statement.

“This guy has the right stuff, and I know if I’m worth my salt as a coach, I will get it out of him,” Jackson said Monday. “And if he’s willing to do the work, he’ll rise to the occasion, and I think he will.”

Jackson made it clear he’s all in on Kizer. He reiterated he’ll stick with him through the tough times he’ll likely face as a rookie, even if it doesn’t lead to many wins.

“I am going to ride this with DeShone, you know the good, the bad or whatever comes,” Jackson said.

“I’m just not swimming in that lake,” Jackson added, alluding to the promise he made to jump into Lake Erie if the Browns go 1-15 again like they did last season. “That’s all. We’re going to make this happen. We’re going to work through this because I think he’s talented.”

Jackson insisted he doesn’t feel any trepidation about his decision, which he discussed with 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas before revealing it publicly.

“I’ve been down this road before,” Jackson said. “I didn’t make a decision to make [Kizer] the quarterback because I had fear in it or [because I don’t] know how it’s going to unfold. I have a vision for it. It might not go that way. If it does, great. If it doesn’t, we keep working through it. But I probably felt better about this one, making this decision, than some in the past because I think the guy can do it.

“Will it be hard? Yeah, it’s going to be hard. It’s going to take a lot of work on his part, my part, our staff’s part, the rest of the team ’cause everybody’s involved in this. It’s not just me and him. Everybody’s got to do their part in order for this young man to have success. But I think we all get it. I think his teammates get it. I think he gets it. I think the coaching staff does. So we’ve got to make this right.”

The Browns will face their three AFC North foes in the first four games, so it’ll be a baptism by fire for Kizer.

“[The schedule] can’t weigh in on your decision,” Jackson said. “I think at the end of the day, you’ve got to play who you feel is best.”

Jackson feels Kizer is the answer.

When Jackson announced Sunday during a conference call Kizer would start, the coach said his decision was “not just for the moment. We are going to get with DeShone, ride with him through it all and work with him through all of this.” But later, Jackson said, “This guy has been named the starter, but he still has to earn the right to be the starting quarterback for this team week in and week out.”

Jackson explained Monday he meant Kizer needs to continually earn the trust and respect of his teammates and prove to them he should start.

“Earning it with your teammates is putting in the time every day and doing what you need to do as a quarterback in this building — come early, stay late, [be] the hardest worker in the building,” Jackson said. “That’s what our quarterbacks have to be because I think your teammates are watching that, and that’s earning it each and every day.”

Rising receiver

The Browns have a dire need at wide receiver, but at least the player Jackson publicly challenged in March to become the leader of the group is ascending.

Corey Coleman has been a reliable threat in the passing game through three preseason games, a sign he could be ready to rebound from a disappointing rookie year in which he missed six games with a broken hand.

“It is kind of tough for a rookie to come in and get hurt and then expect to pick back up where you left off when he missed a lot of time,” Coleman said. “It’s kind of tough, but it’s not an excuse. It’s a new year, and I’m feeling great.”

The 15th overall pick in last year’s draft, Coleman has caught eight passes for 106 yards this preseason. He hauled in four passes for 66 yards Saturday in the third exhibition game, a 13-9 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Coleman, 23, has learned knowledge is power, especially when it comes to the playbook.

“I know the offense a lot better, connection with the quarterbacks, just knowing where I’m going to be at the right time and spot, everything’s in a groove right now,” said Coleman, who had 33 catches for 413 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games last season.

Kizer has developed some chemistry with Coleman.

“He is a heck of an athlete, and the way our offense is set up, with him backside quite a bit, if they’re going to give us an opportunity to go one-on-one, he’s going to have to make those plays consistently,” Kizer said. “He showed us obviously against Tampa that he has that big-play ability to go up there and make some big plays for us. So to have that in my back pocket at all times gives me a lot of confidence.”

Coleman is encouraged about his connection with Kizer.

“It could be a very bright future for both of us if we keep on doing what we need to do,” Coleman said.

Extra points

• Brock Osweiler is listed as the backup quarterback on the team’s most recent unofficial depth chart, but Jackson said, “I have not decided that yet.” Jackson reiterated Osweiler, Kessler and Kevin Hogan are in the mix for the No. 2 job. “All of those guys have earned the right to compete for that job,” Jackson said.

• Jackson said he hasn’t decided whether the starters will play Thursday night in the preseason finale on the road against the Chicago Bears. “I am sure all of the players want to know, but mum is the word,” he said.

• Rookie defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi received playing time with the starters Saturday. “He is talented,” Jackson said. “He is getting better each and every day, and he is chomping at the bit to be out there — that much I do know about him. He is always out to practice early. He stays late. He will do anything and everything you ask of him, and guys like that we reward.”

• Jackson said he didn’t play tight ends Seth DeValve, a fourth-round choice last year, and David Njoku, a rookie first-round pick, into the fourth quarter Saturday because he wants one of them to step up. “Just because they are out there doesn’t mean that someone is mad at them or they have done something wrong,” Jackson said. “Some guys just need more seasoning. They need to play as much football as they can to get better and to get ready for the regular season because some of these guys will be playing a lot of football. That is all that is.”

• The following players didn’t practice Monday but worked out beside the practice fields with athletic trainers: receiver Kenny Britt, safety Ed Reynolds (knee), defensive tackles Danny Shelton (knee) and Xavier Cooper, left tackle Joe Thomas, left guard Joel Bitonio (knee) and tackle Cameron Erving (calf).

• Asked if the hope is Shelton will be ready to return by Week 1, Jackson said, “I hope they all are. That is my hope.”

• Fullback Danny Vitale (ankle) and defensive end Nate Orchard (groin) were not at practice. Defensive end Cam Johnson (knee) returned to practice.

• The Browns waived backup center Gabe Ikard, who missed most of training camp with a concussion. He joined them on waivers last season and was inactive for nine games.

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.