Browns QB DeShone Kizer press conference - 8/28

Posted Aug 28, 2017

The rookie starter meets with reporters Monday

QB DeShone Kizer:

On being named Browns starting QB:

“This is awesome. Obviously, it was an awesome opportunity to start in the preseason game, but now to know that I will be the guy heading into the season that will help lead this team to a couple of wins is obviously a really cool experience.”

On the process of how Head Coach Hue Jackson told him he would start:

“Coach Jackson last week when he called to tell me I was going to start for Tampa, he just let me know that if all things went as planned that I would be the guy heading into the season. After a good week of practice and obviously going out and growing a little more in this Tampa game, it kind of fell in line.”

On what stood out from Saturday’s game after reviewing the film:

“We got some momentum. The drives are there. The playmakers are there. The way that we are going out, attacking each drive and playing with speed, it is all there. We just need to finish. I think this last preseason game, whether it be the ones out there or the twos, it is an opportunity for us on offense to show that we can finish because our defense has played great in these last three games. For us to complement them, we need to put the ball in the end zone.”

On if he will play and wants or needs to play against Chicago on Thursday:

“It is up to Coach. He hasn’t informed us of what guys are going to be out there, but any rep is valuable for me at this point in my career.”

On if his confidence clicked at a certain point or if it gradually built as the competition progressed:

“The goal of this whole process was to be gradual, to take rookie camp and lead that into OTAs, into veteran camp and into training camp. I think I have been right on path. Obviously, I stand here in front of you guys as the starting quarterback today so apparently that was the right way to go about things.”

On his response to members of the media saying he is not ready to start:

“There has been a lot of work that has gone into this entire process. Going out and performing in preseason games is one thing, but to perform in [regular season] games is another. Until I’m out there, everyone is going to have a right to their opinion. If that is their opinion, then we will see Week 1.”

On the notion from a Cleveland sports talk show that there is no way he could lead the Browns to seven or more wins this season:

“I can’t tell you what that show is. I’m talking about going against Chicago this week and whatever we can do now to prepare ourselves to win another game.”

On if it is gratifying being named the starter after Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly said he wasn’t ready for the NFL yet:

“Once again, everything we have talked about is a bunch of opinions. This is a situation in which I was able to step out here with a great coaching staff, an awesome team around me and develop my game to become a better football player. I can truly say that in these last four months I feel very confident that I have become a lot better and my development is headed in the right direction. Obviously, my next step now is preparing for our fourth preseason game. Whether I am out there or not, I know that these are great reps in preparation for the upcoming season and obviously getting ready for Pittsburgh after that.”

On Jackson saying the Browns will ride through the highs and lows with him this season:

“It is awesome. When you have a coach who truly believes in you – obviously, he has put a lot of time and effort into my development – to have him by my side is an awesome experience at the quarterback position. We know in this sport the quarterback-coach relationship can go a long ways. You see a lot of the successful teams have great quarterback and head coach relationships. For us to start off the way we have, obviously, if we can go out there and have a little success and we continue to grow in that sense, hopefully, this can be something that can last for 10-15 years.”

On if he talked to family and friends after being named the starting QB last night:

“I did. I didn’t talk to my mom as much as she would like (laughter). I got a few texts. There are a lot of people out there supporting me through this. This has been an awesome ride. Obviously, being back home in Northern Ohio, this couldn’t go any better right now.”

On if he has heard from Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly:

“I have not. I plan on trying to catch the game this weekend if I can. If not, I’m sure we will talk soon.”

On how knowing he is the starting QB changes his mindset going into the season:

“Throughout that competition, it was a big focus of mine to focus in on winning within and competing with myself. If you go out there looking at everybody else’s reps, it only allows for you to take the focus off of yourself and your own development. Not much changes. We have an awesome quarterback room. Those guys have been supporting me in this past week, starting in the Tampa game, and I plan on them continuing to support me and help me out in the preparation for Pittsburgh.”

On his relationship with the Browns growing up in Toledo and how it feels to be the starting QB of the Browns:

“This is really a unique situation since that I grew up in a town in which everyone is probably 50/50 divided between the Lions and the Browns. That split allowed me to learn quite a bit about this organization and obviously the question marks that have always been at quarterback. You see that list grow and grow and grow. You hear people and the chatter throughout my whole community. Now to be on that list and hopefully end that list will be an awesome situation for me. This program is obviously historic and has had a lot of success. What this tradition that we have here has become over this quite a few years of playing in this league to now go out and represent it being from this area is truly an honor.”

On if he has thought about potentially being the start of a new beginning in Browns history:

“Yeah, that has always been the goal. The goal for me is being out there helping my team win. Obviously, winning is something that we want to do here and we haven’t been able to do for quite a few years now. To be a start of hopefully that tradition that we want to have here would be once again an honor.”

On if he started thinking about Pittsburgh once he was named the starting QB:

“The concepts that Chicago runs as far as a three-down defense is very similar to Pittsburgh. Fortunately, as we prepare for Chicago, we will also be preparing for Pittsburgh in that sense. Obviously, I’m going to go in and watch a couple of more games, but until I know whether or not I am not playing, it is on me to prepare for Chicago to go out there and be successful as much as I can.”

On making the jump from playing against the NY Giants to playing extensive time against Tampa Bay’s first team:

“I think it was very similar. In both of those games, the preparation style is the exact same – able to create a good process and then obviously stepping out there, I was a little more comfortable walking out on the first rep in Game 3 rather than Game 2. As the more reps you get, obviously the more comfortable you become, the more confident you become. By the end of that first half last week a couple days ago against Tampa, I truly felt as if I was in control of the offense and truly had the confidence needed to go out there and lead this team to a position to win games.”

On what Jackson and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown said to him in the pre-draft process:

“That there is just a lot of room for improvement and that if I did end up in the situation of playing in this organization that they were going to focus in on my development rather than throwing me into the fire and just seeing if I was ready to go right away. They were going to put me on the path that they have put me on to develop me into a quarterback that can go out and win games for this program, and that is exactly what they have done. As honest as they were to me, that same honesty has continued on since I have been here.”

On his relationship with Jackson, given OL Joe Thomas’ positive comments about their head coach-QB relationship:

“In the pre-draft process, we hit it off right when I met him. Obviously, I was able to work with (former NFL QB) Zac Robinson who played under Coach Jackson in Cincinnati, and he told me all about him and I got to hear the outsider’s point of view, but once I actually met him, our relationship has continued to grow since in the sense that he is a straight forward guy who tells it exactly how it is and that is how I like it. There is no room for sugar coating in this league. Since we met, it has been all about just creating a dialogue between myself and him on what I think I need some improvement on and what he thinks that I need improvement on. That relationship that we have created has only allowed for me to go out there and have the success that I have had.”

On his expectations for his rookie season:

“My expectations are to have no expectations. You have to go out there and just focus in on each rep. If you set goals wherever you want to set them and you fall short of them, that is a mental thing that you don’t want to deal with. Right now, it is all about going out and competing each rep, trying to have success and winning on each rep. As far as the standards that I am setting for myself, I am trying not to have any.”

On his familiarity with the recent QB history in Cleveland:

“Enough to know that there has been quite a few. Due to injury and due to some success in the field, they have not been able to find their guy. That is all I need to know to understand that I need to go out there and work hard every day to stop that tradition here.”

On if there is anything daunting about the number of Browns starting QBs since 1999 and being the next person to start:

“It is 2017, and I bet you 10 of those 26 I was not even considering playing in the NFL as the time so that is way behind us, and obviously, the vibes out here at practice are completely different than what they have been in the past. We have a new coaching staff, we have been through new owners in that time and that in itself should show you that there are some things changing here.”

On the state of the intermediate throws in his game, particularly the third-and-5 passing situations across the middle:

“That is a very specific area [laughter] and hopefully we can have a couple more of those so I can throw it across the middle on third-and-5 and get one caught so that you can say that is not a weakness.”

On improving his intermediate throws:

“As far as the chunk plays go, this is a league in which you have to have them in order to score points. Obviously, the intermediate game is what keeps those chunk plays alive throughout. You have to be able to drop the ball down and either check the ball down to the back or take some of the quick game things to get defenders to step up to be able to make the chunk plays. That is something that I will continue to focus on, but it is all about just taking what the defense gives you. If they want to back linebackers up, we will drop the ball down. If they want to play up and we are running the ball as well as we have been running the ball, then we will take the chunk plays when we need to.” 

On how WR Corey Coleman helped him at Tampa Bay:

“Yeah, he is a heck of an athlete. The way our offense is set up with him back side quite a bit, if they are going to give us an opportunity to go one-on-one, he is going to have to make those plays consistently, and he showed us obviously against Tampa that he has that big-play ability to go up there and make some big plays for us. To have that in my back pocket at all times gives me a lot of confidence when I am in the pocket.”

On if he was upset that QB Brock Osweiler started the first preseason two preseason games, given he called himself a competitor:

“No, this is all about trusting in Coach Jackson, and obviously, his plan has led me right to where I am right now. At the time, obviously I was a competitor and wanted to be named the starter the first day that I was here, but this has all once again been a process that led me to be where I am at now so I am truly thankful for those situations because they are going to allow me to be a better player later.”

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