Browns QB DeShone Kizer takes trade attempt as message to 'step my game up'

DeShone Kizer doesn't need any extra motivation. The rookie quarterback is still looking for his first NFL win and wants to build off one of his cleanest starts of the season two weeks ago against the Vikings.

The Browns' attempted trade for AJ McCarron during the bye week hasn't fazed Kizer's mindset. If anything, it's only strengthened his desire to prove he belongs as Cleveland's starting quarterback for the rest of the season and beyond.

"It is part of this business," Kizer said before Wednesday's practice. "I think that has absolutely nothing to do with my development and where this team stands. It is just another way of letting me know that I need to step my game up knowing that I have another opportunity this week to be the starting quarterback here. I look forward to going out and proving myself.

"I have 10,000 reasons to be motivated, to go out and play better. Two being the two times I've been benched. I think that, once again, I have been getting better each week, and I look forward to coming out here after a nice bye week and preparing myself to go out there and have my best game yet."

Kizer took a small step in that direction the last time he was on the field and hopes to do the same Sunday against one of the NFL's best turnover-producing defenses in Detroit.

The rookie started and finished his first game since Week 3 and didn't throw an interception in Cleveland's loss to the Vikings. Production stalled for stretches, but Kizer largely took what the defense gave him, as he used a number of quick passes to get the offense moving down the field.

Browns coach Hue Jackson called it the "better version" of Kizer. And after a thorough self-scout over the bye week, Kizer believes that version will be replicated more often than not during the second half of the season.

"There are a lot of plays to be had out there," Kizer said. "Obviously, there is a big emphasis on not turning the ball over, and I was able to develop that throughout the first half of the season and, obviously, didn't turn the ball over against Minnesota. Now, there are big plays that turn into touchdowns that need to be made throughout a game."

Kizer knows better than most that the future, whether it be in the long- or short-term, is dictated by his actions of the present. He wants to be the quarterback of the future but has his eyes on the Lions, first.

"You have to prove that every time you step out there. When you are in a position where you are 0-8, when you are on a club that hasn't been winning in the recent past and hasn't had a solid quarterback in a long time, you have to prove that every time you step out there," Kizer said. "It is going to take a lot for a guy to hold onto this position for a while, and that is why you have seen so many guys who haven't been able to hold on to it.

"There is definitely a chip on my shoulder to go out there and continue to represent myself and this team as best as I can and do whatever I can to be the quarterback here for a long time."

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