BEREA — Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer shrugged off any sort of personal growth made in Sunday's loss to the Bengals and instead trained a lens on trying to salvage a winless season.
Kizer, who said he wants to reward his teammates with the thrill of victory, expressed disappointment he couldn't do that in Cincinnati despite a strong showing in which he helped Cleveland rally past a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
It was also an encouraging performance from Kizer, who passed for 268 yards on 18-of-31 attempts, after combining for four turnovers against Jacksonville last week. He also scored on a 3-yard keeper that cut a double-digit deficit to seven points with under 7 minutes to play.
While Kizer brushed it off, head coach Hue Jackson made clear it was significant step in the right direction for a rookie quarterback still learning and growing.
"He bounced back from a game that he didn't play as well the week before. That's what you look for. Can you go in on the road and play better?" Jackson said Monday. "He went out and protected the ball, put us in situations where we had chances to make some plays and did some good things."
Kizer, who said he was finished accepting "small victories" in regards to his own development, lamented not being able to do more. "I'm starting to get tired of coming in and listening to the same pump up speech. I'm tired of some of these guys who, once again, put their bodies on the line every week and not rewarding those guys with victories," he said.
To be certain, Kizer might've taken a step forward toward that goal Sunday. He and the Browns have five weeks left to make it happen.
"There are a lot of guys in here who have played in this league for quite some time who haven't won," he said. "It's on me, in the position I am in as quarterback here, to do whatever I can to reward those guys with victories."