If the NFL was scripted, it would be the perfect storyline for a franchise and a fanbase starving for playoff success. It would also be quite the story for Thompson-Robinson who showed a little something during the preseason when he thrilled Browns fandom. Perhaps that glimpse of excitement was foreshadowing of what might be to come in the regular season.
That is the hope anyway and it would also take some of the sting off losing Watson to a season-ending shoulder injury.
While leading the Browns to a playoff berth is a lot to ask of a rookie stepping in mid-season, Thompson-Robinson should be more prepared this time around. He did get his first NFL start against the Baltimore Ravens earlier in the season. That outing didn’t go so well for the rookie, who completed 19 of 36 passes for 121 yards. But this time around Thompson-Robinson will have a week to prepare for his Week 11 start unlike the Ravens game in which he learned of his start just minutes before the game.
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson looking to shine in second start
In naming Thompson-Robinson the starter, Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski feels a full week of preparation should benefit the talented rookie.
“I want to give him a week where he knows he’s the starter and gets a full week of preparation, Stefanski said this week, as transcribed by ESPN.
The Browns coaching staff is also rewarding the UCLA product for a few weeks of good practice in which the rookie quarterback made good throws, improved on his footwork, and threw the football with purpose. He was just a player who looked ready and with a week preparation and a second chance as a starter, Thompson-Robinson is showing some confidence leading up to the game.
“I’ve been in an NFL game, so I’m not stepping out there for the first time,” Thompson-Robinson said, via the team’s official website. “I know all my keys, all what to look at throughout the film, what to watch, who key players are on their defense and everything now. So, I’m not just going out there wide-eyed anymore. I’m going out there with things to look at, things to focus on and a plan to be able to tackle.”
Selected in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft by the Browns, Thompson-Robinson is looking to take advantage of his opportunity like he did at UCLA where he struggled out of the gate as a freshman but pulled it all together to have a successful collegiate career.
In that respect, there should be a lot of excitement surrounding the Browns rookie quarterback this week. It will be a tough challenge going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense, but with the talent the Browns have on both sides of the ball, a defensive slugfest would allow Thompson-Robinson to feel the game, limit mistakes and make plays when he needs to. If he just does that, the confidence will build and there will be a play or two to be made with either his arm or legs.
If that leads to a win, Dorian Thompson-Robinson will have the Dawg Pound rocking.