CLEVELAND — DeShone Kizer chalked up Friday night's Orange & Brown Scrimmage as a learning experience, but the Browns rookie quarterback wasn't pleased with how it all unfolded.
"I've played better," said Kizer, who was up and down in his debut at FirstEnergy Stadium. "For me to step out there and not play at the level that I would like to play at is a little disappointing for myself."
But don't conflate disappointed for discouraged. That's not the case as Kizer, the second-round pick and former Notre Dame star, competes to be Cleveland's starting quarterback this fall.
"We're going to take this into tomorrow," he said, "and continue to get better throughout training camp."
To be certain, this was Kizer's first real test ahead of Thursday's preseason opener against New Orleans and, over the past few months, both he and Browns coach Hue Jackson have acknowledged that rookie mistakes will be made.
For example, Kizer missed an open Duke Johnson Jr. for what would have been a touchdown late in the scrimmage. It was a misfire that had just a bit too much air under it.
"He missed that one. He would be the first to tell you that. That's a ball that he normally makes," Jackson said. "To me, that's his first time in this stadium making that throw in that end zone. You have to be here. I would be surprised if a lot of our quarterbacks don't show back up here later on tonight just to go back through that. That's what the good ones do. They find out, this is your home, this is where you play, and the elements are a little different than the practice field."
"For him to be that wide open, for me to miss is unacceptable," Kizer added. "I'll go back and obviously check out the footwork on that play, check out the read, where my eyes are and make sure that we can make the correction going into tomorrow to continue to get better as much as we can."
Browns hold their annual scrimmage at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Kizer, who finds himself dueling with Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler and Kevin Hogan, wasn't the only quarterback who struggled at times Friday night. Jackson described the overall play of his signal callers as "spotty," though cautioned fans not to read too much into it.
Kizer took it all — both the good and bad — in stride. While his arm talent has been apparent throughout camp, Jackson has maintained the goal for the rookie is to become consistent day in and day out. Against that backdrop, Kizer — who spoke of the game finally slowing down Friday night — shrugged off inevitable questions regarding whether he'd be ready to start in the team's preseason opener next week against New Orleans.
"That is not my call," he said. "I think that coach continues to give me the reps with the first team, continues to watch me develop. We have been continuing to have great communication and building our relationship and I truly believe that I'm getting better each day. From some of the mistakes, like missing Duke across the middle today, and through some of the success, like hitting a bench route on the sideline, these are all new things to me.
"So the more that I learn," he continued, "the better I'll hopefully become and hopefully one day Coach Jackson will be standing right here and will be able to make a call for me to go out there and make a good play for someone."