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Browns QB DeShone Kizer press conference - 10/23

Posted Oct 23, 2017

The rookie signal-caller addresses reporters Monday

QB DeShone Kizer:

On the comfort level as a QB knowing that OL Joe Thomas was protecting his blindside:

“It is awesome. He is in my opinion probably the best to ever do it. When he puts in the time and effort that he puts into it, you know for a fact that he is as prepared as he possibly can be. When he steps out on the field, it allows you to know that that side of the field, unless I make a mistake, is going to be taken care of. Now I trust that he is going to come in and whoever comes in and fills that spot he is going to lead them to have the same preparation skills and hopefully perform at somewhat of the same level that he has performed and hopefully fill in at that position the right way.”

On how significant of a blow Thomas’ injury is to the team:

“We will see. I think this is brand new for this organization. The last time that Joe wasn’t playing here, I was probably in fifth or sixth grade. That is something that is new for us. We are going to see how his presence not only on the field but off the field is going to help our offensive line and perform at a higher level.”

On if the uncertainty of who will start at QB affects his preparation:

“The way Mondays are for us, at least in my process, it is very bland. It is very open. The process that I am on right now of getting a base-grasp on Minnesota won’t really change much if I’m the starter or if I’m not the starter. Once that decision does come out, obviously, it adjusts the way that you go about things. I will make sure that I am doing everything that I have been doing to prepare for the game. If I am the starter or if I’m not, then it is about doing everything I can to help the guy who is the starter.”

On if he will go home tonight wondering if he will start:

“Absolutely, it is a very tough job. I think it is arguably the toughest job that you can get in the United States being a starting quarterback in the NFL. When there is that much that goes into it, you obviously want to know as early as possible on whether or not you are going to be out there doing that job or where you fall in on the team. Until then, you just control what you can control and try to stay in the process that you have always been in.”

On lessons from talking with Head Coach Hue Jackson about the video of him out on Friday night:

“As a quarterback of this organization, I know that there is a lot of responsibility that comes with that. A big part of that is being a leader. A part of being a leader is making sure that you understand that distractions in any fashion aren’t good for the ultimate goal. When you become the centerpiece of a distraction for a week, it definitely is very frustrating on my part. That is not who I am. My mother wouldn’t be proud of this. That is pretty much the biggest takeaway is do whatever you can to make sure that you are not a distraction.”

On if he will change his Friday nights:

“Absolutely. Once again, I have learned that this is a distraction. We are sitting here talking about this. My teammates are coming up to me and asking me about this. There are so many cameras around here, it is going to be made a pretty big deal. With that, it is on me to make sure that from here that from here on out I am not a distraction and I am only an asset to this team, not a guy that is pulling away from the ultimate goal.”

On his second interception after watching the film:

“You see a very good play from a wise safety who comes off of the underneath route. As my vision goes away from him, he ends up falling under the second layer of the route and makes a good play on the ball.”

On how to balance not turning the ball over with trying to get more chances to win the game:

“That is the ultimate question right now is I do feel as if I am getting better each week. Obviously, there is a big part of my game that has been recognized as a flaw and that is turning the ball over. That is not helping our team win. In every other aspect of this game, I feel like I am doing a pretty good job and I am developing. It is on me to now make sure that if I do get another opportunity to be back out there playing that I continue to develop everywhere else but also address the biggest flaw of my game right now, and that is turnovers.”

On if the first interception simply sailed on him:

“Yeah, the ball comes out high.”

On if there is anything he can say to convince Jackson that he deserves to start on Sunday:

“I’m going to continue to be the same guy that I have always been and continue to be the first guy at the facility, the last guy out, have the same work ethic, stay true to the process that he and I created and allow him to make the decision that is best for the team. He is the ringleader here. He makes all of the decisions. He understands the ins and outs of this game, and I’m sure he is going to make the best decision possible. If that is with me, then I have to make sure that I make the proper adjustments. If it is with someone else, then I have to make sure that I am doing everything I can to help that guy lead us to a victory.”

On keeping a positive mindset given the QB changes:

“Once again, I will just go back to what I have said every week, it is just about setting small goals and making sure that you are checking the majority of those. Obviously, of the goals is to make sure that you are not turning the ball over. I wasn’t able to check that box this week, but everywhere else, I felt very confident. I’m running the ball a little bit, having a little fun out there, protecting the team for the majority of the first half there. You rely on those things to keep you positive and make sure that the things that are negative you attack them even harder, you continue to recognize them and make sure that you understand that those mistakes aren’t OK. Those are mistakes that are leading us to losing games.”

On if he was trying to bond with teammates on Friday night:

“Yeah, I’m doing a lot of things off the field to try to get to know my guys. I’m back in Toledo with two of our receivers this past off day trying to get to know them and developing relationships with them, but I can tell you one thing that does pull you away from relationships and that is distractions. Me having to stand in front of you guys in our locker room where we hang out and talk about something that is not winning. I’m doing whatever I can to create that camaraderie and this isn’t a part of it.”

On if going out on Friday was rare for him, given his past comments on his weekly schedule:

“It is rare for me to be out at that hour. I felt as if my preparation for that week was going as planned. I felt very prepared for the game. It didn’t really alter me from my typical process. Unfortunately, it becomes a distraction. That is exactly what I didn’t want it to be. I am going to learn from this and make sure that everything I do from here on out off the field is only directed towards the ultimate goal of getting our first victory.”

On if it is difficult to play freely knowing that he might get benched if he turns the ball over:

“No, not at all. I believe personally that everyone here knows that this game is a production-based game. When you are not producing and you are not leading your team in the right direction of getting a win through turnovers, the best guy should be on the field. For me, it is about doing whatever I can to make sure that I prove to him that I am the best guy on the field. Two turnovers in the last two games doesn’t necessarily head in that direction. It is about doing whatever I can now to make sure that next time I do step out there that I address my biggest mistake right now, and that is turnovers, and allow myself to stay in the full game to give myself an opportunity to lead this team to victory that will hopefully wash away a lot of these other things that we talk about weekly.”

On not throwing interceptions is on his mind every time a pass is called:

“I’m thinking we need a positive play. It doesn’t necessarily mean no turnovers, but it does mean keep the ball out of harm’s way. It does mean put the ball in the best position for our offense to succeed on that play. There is pressure on every play from first down in the first quarter to fourth down in the fourth quarter. There is always going to be something on your back. As a quarterback, you just have to understand that you have to be team protecting and making sure that the ball, once again, is out of harm’s way.”      

On if there is anything ‘extra’ about playing in London if he is named the starting QB:
“Absolutely, there is travel. This is a very physical sport and to be on a plane for that long can throw off your process. We will practice at night, hop on a plane and get off that plane and practice again. You have to make sure that you do whatever you can that, although obviously we travel that far, you stay on the same process and you rely on the resources that we have within this building to make sure that your body doesn’t take a hit from it. From compression to hydration to sleep, you have to make sure that everything that you are doing is heading in the direction of playing well.”

On the difference between being under a microscope at Notre Dame to now with the Browns:

“I think it is very similar. It is definitely a higher scale. There are a couple more cameras here than there was at ND, but at the same time, when you are at a university that has such an international presence, you are under a pretty big microscope there, too. I was able to learn there. I was able to understand all the things that go into representing something a lot bigger than yourself. Now, it is about applying some of those learning experiences there here. It is obviously a situation such as what happened on Friday was nothing I ever dealt with in college, and it is frustrating that was able to get through college without anything like that, but now I step in here as a rookie in the NFL and I created another distraction for my teammates.”

On if he understands Browns fans’ sensitivity following former Browns QB Johnny Manziel’s time in Cleveland:

“This organization, this fan base and this city wants to win, and anything that is not heading towards winning is going to be recognized and there is going to be a conversation somewhere about it. You guys are going to write about it because that is the ultimate goal here and we need to get to that. In order to get to that, as a quarterback, you have to be a leader who is leading the team in a direction that only heads that way. No steps back at this point.”

On if he would rather be known as a player who called a players-only meeting than someone who caused a distraction:

“Absolutely, those are things that are going to allow this team to be better on Sundays. A discussion like this is not.”

On if he will call a players-only meeting again:

“Yeah, I think it is something that we benefitted a lot from. To have open dialogue between some of the receivers and the quarterbacks about different routes and different line sets is something that I think is going to help us out. We have a little bit of extra time later in the week to talk. Why not use it the right way?”

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