Last week, Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer sounded optimistic about the benefit of facing three AFC North rivals in four games. This week, Kizer sounds like a guy who realizes it’s not going well.
“When you are 0-4 and statistically one of the worst quarterbacks out there right now, you have to figure out where you are headed,” Kizer told reporters. “What is the path right now? What is the message? For me, it is about doing whatever I can to grow in whatever Coach [Jackson] decides needs to be the right room for growth for that week. In the last couple weeks, we were talking about trying not to hold onto the ball and make sure that we are throwing the ball away and not taking sacks. We made progress in that. This week, it is about putting the ball in playmakers hands and trying to go score points so we can go win a game. Now, it is up to me to do whatever I can this week to grow in that. Obviously, this is going to be a process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I am looking forward to attacking this consistently and taking on those small projects until it becomes something that we really want it to be.”
One thing that could help Kizer is having a veteran quarterback. Like maybe the one they’re paying $15.225 million to not play for the Browns.
“It would be valuable to have a guy who has been through this and understands it all,” Kizker said, apparently before realizing how that could be interpreted by people like, you know, me. “But when you have a quarterbacks coach in Coach Jackson, essentially I already have that. The conversations that we have are more on a personal level where we can share thoughts and create dialogue. It is not just coach talking down to a player. That relationship in itself is something that I have used as a mentor tool, but also, I will go elsewhere. I have some good relationships with guys who have played in this league outside of this locker room, and I try to use them as much as I possibly can.”
Whatever lumps Kizer takes this year, it will serve him well for the future. He’s in the process of reaching his ceiling. Wherever that upper limit on his skills may be, he gets there by experiencing the fray.
The broader question is whether Hue Jackson will get to work with Kizer long enough to help Kizer play well enough to keep Jackson in place to continue to work with Kizer.