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Browns QB DeShone Kizer press conference - 1/1

Posted Jan 1, 2018

The Cleveland signal-caller reflects on his 1st NFL season

On his plans for the offseason:

“Take a little time off, spend some time in Toledo with the family and then back and forth between here, which is obviously pretty cool to be close to home because I can go back and forth here. Make sure that I spend a lot of time in the film room and things like that. Then from there, I will probably head out to Orange County and throw with Tom House and those guys and make sure that you are working on your passing as best you can.”

On if there are collective bargaining agreement restrictions on the amount of time he can spend in the facility in the offseason:

“There is. There is. Being around the area is the biggest thing. I have my setup at home here in Cleveland where I was able to watch film so I will be able to spend some time doing that on my own, but just staying in the community, continuing to show my face and stay committed to everything I want to do myself.”

On his main takeaways from the season:

“Once again, I think that can be a loaded question in the sense that there is so much that I have learned in this year. Whether we went 16-0 or 0-16, this was a year of learning, a year that I’m going to be able to build off of and hopefully, set as my foundation as a professional quarterback. I really obviously didn’t want to go through some of the things we went through this year, would love to have won for my team and reward some of the guys who have been in this league for a long time, but this is the situation we are in and we have to do our best to maximize it.”

On his mental state after the season:

“Better than I anticipated. This has been a great learning experience, and I was blessed enough to have a support team who kept continuously reminding me of what this season is and how small of a piece of my career it is going to be. It is just about doing whatever we can to maximize it and taking these lessons for what they are and learning from them. Mentally, I’m good. My confidence is here. It is about going into this offseason, continuing to build my craft and becoming the best quarterback that I can become.”

On his approach to the Browns adding QBs in the offseason and being in the competition for position:

“That is this league. As I said multiple times before, statistically every year, there is going to be some sort of guy who comes in. Whether it be a young guy, whether it be a guy who comes over from another team or a guy that you are going to spend a lot of money on, there is going to be a new guy. It is just about doing whatever you can to improve yourself and focusing in on your own craft so that whatever situation does pop up, you are the best equipped to go out and win it.”

On the importance of growing in Head Coach Hue Jackson’s system for a second year, now that it is official Jackson will return next year:

“First of all, it was official that Hue was going to be back for a long time. From my perspective, when an owner comes out and says that a coach is going to be back, he is going to stand by his word. I have been able to continue to be committed to that process. With that being said, it is going to be awesome. To understand that I can come back next year into a training camp and not spend time learning how to say a play call or how to communicate in a huddle, I get to spend that time now taking the next steps. Those steps are going to be the steps that hopefully put myself in a position to put some more points on the board and put this team in position to win.”

On if he agrees with Jackson that he has the necessary tools to be a successful NFL QB but it is too early to fully evaluate him:

“In a way. I know that when I’m at my best and I’m confident as I can possibly be and when I’m comfortable doing my job no matter what it is, typically, I find success. I think this year was a year that has allowed me to learn a lot about myself to continue to build that confidence and continue to remain comfortable in the position that I’m in so that I can go out and succeed for as long as I possibly can.

On if he is reading defenses as well as he would like, specifically referring to Bears CB Kyle Fuller’s interception:

“When it comes to coverage, when it comes to scheme, there are a very few times this year where I didn’t feel as if I understood what the defense was trying to do to me, which is something that I’m very proud of. I spent quite a bit of time and preparation to make sure that we understand the defense that we are going against. Nine times out of 10, I did. It is about eliminating those couple minutes of time when you don’t and also understanding timing and position and situation to make sure that, like situations like Chicago, that when there is a guy that is playing off that you take the check-down. Those are obvious fixes, but sometimes, you have to go through some of those nightmares to get to learning.”

On areas of improvement this offseason:

“I think fundamentally, I just need to make sure that my footwork is as crisp as it possibly could become, my balance is on and I’m throwing the ball more accurately. It is something that every quarterback probably focuses on in the offseason, I believe, but it is definitely going to be a big emphasis for me to make sure that when I come back that I have the timing and precision to be the best quarterback I can be.”

On if he believes a QB can substantially improve accuracy:

“Absolutely, accuracy and completing footballs, as I have said multiple times, there is so much that goes into it that if you can go and fix different aspects of what it takes to complete a pass, you can see that substantial growth. Whether it be timing, spending time with some of these guys in the offseason or whether it be simply making sure that my footwork is precise and looking at myself and doing a bunch of self-scout on some of the bad throws that I had this year and eliminating some of those issues, I will be able to find the balance and the consistency that will allow me to be a much more accurate passer.”

On if his experience this year will put him ahead of a rookie QB the Browns may acquire:

“Yeah, when you go out and you have a year’s worth of experience and you play against the teams that you play against and go through the preparation, you become a pro. If they do bring in a rookie, that is going to be my biggest, hopefully, my biggest stepping stone to remaining the starting quarterback here.”

On if he would welcome a veteran QB in the position room:

“Yeah, absolutely. That has nothing to do with me. That is a decision that is going to be made upstairs. Once again, I’m going to trust in whatever Coach Jackson and Mr. (General Manger John) Dorsey does in terms of my development and what it is going to take for me to improve my game to hopefully be the franchise quarterback here.”

On what he has learned about WR Josh Gordon and if Gordon can be a foundation piece of the franchise:

“Absolutely. His work ethic and his mindset was awesome in these last few weeks that we were able to have him, he will become the leader that we need him to be in that room with the young receiving corps that we have. Obviously, losing (WR) Kenny (Britt), he quickly becomes the veteran of that room, and we are going to have to rely on him to continue to develop some of the other guys and make sure that he holds them to the same standards that he holds himself.”

On if he plans to spend time with Gordon in the offseason:

“Absolutely. That will be one of the first places I go is wherever Josh is.”

On if he had some personal satisfaction with his performance yesterday, despite not winning:

“When you go through the season that you go through, you have to find where the small wins are. I think one of the biggest small wins this week was just trying to earn the respect of my teammates. I think that yesterday was another showing that I’m going to fight for everyone that is out here. Hopefully, my teammates see that and I will continue to earn that respect and trust that when I’m out there leading them and the ball is in my hands, I’m going to do whatever it takes to hopefully put us in position to score points and win the game.”

On if eclipsing 400 yards of total offense yesterday is something the offense can take as momentum heading into the offseason:

“Absolutely. Once again, you have to find the small wins. The ultimate goal in this league is to win football games. That is what I will be judged by. No one is going to see however many yards or however much individual success that game. They are going to see another loss to an 0-16 year. That is unfortunate, but it is the reality of the fact. Now, it is about doing whatever we can to build on those things and have more of those games so that we can be in a better position to win games so that we can hopefully start turning there towards that.”

On if he considered running for a first down on the fourth down incompletion:

“Absolutely. That was the first thought. That was kind of the majority of the mindset of the play was if there is nothing there, we are going to take off and get 2 yards easy. We were able to use my legs throughout the game to pick up some key third and fourth down situations, but on the way, keep your eyes up. With my eyes up, I was able to see an open receiver and try to get the ball to him.”

On the original play call on fourth down:

“Just a quick in. We had slants on both sides. We had (WR) Corey (Coleman) going into the flat out of the backfield. They quickly emptied the box and saw a couple of opportunities to hopefully slide through the middle and take off and get that first down. On the way out, obviously, ran into the backer, a couple of my guys and scurried away.

On if he learned what it takes to be an NFL QB and if he will dedicate himself to improving every aspect of his game this offseason on and off the field:

“Absolutely. There is a very diverse, big process of being a good quarterback. I have learned that all year. Now, it is about doing everything better and at a higher level – understanding what makes me tick, what allows me to be at my best on a Monday practice, what allows me to be my best on Sunday for a game, throughout training camp, finding where my weaknesses were throughout my processes, through this whole year and taking it to the next level and attacking those weaknesses. Hopefully, I will be able to come back after a bunch of self-scout and become the best quarterback that I can possibly become.”

On if he will try to flush the team’s record this season or hang onto it for motivation:

“You have to take it for what it is but understand that those days are behind us. This organization is going to win. 2018 is going to be a big year for it. With that being said, you have to leave some of these things in the past. You have to understand what got us here and what put us in this positon so that you can attack those things to make sure that you don’t make those same mistakes going into next year.”

On if he had his one-on-one meeting with Jackson yet:

“I have not. We will do that this afternoon.”

On his message to fans about the future of the Browns:

“Through work. They don’t want to see the celebrity status. They don’t want to see you out and about trying to build your brand. They want to see you becoming a better football player. Throughout this offseason, I will be committed to that and to showing that I’m going to continue to have the same work ethic that I had Day 1 when I got here because that is what put me on the path to the starting position player. Now in order to take the next step in my game, I have to go back out and prove to these fans that I can be the quarterback that they want me to be for a long time.”

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