John Dorsey knew the pain DeShone Kizer felt after Sunday's heartbreaking loss to the Packers.
The Browns new general manager wasted little time offering an open ear and a little advice to the rookie quarterback after an overtime loss in which Cleveland let a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead slip through its grasp. Kizer's overtime interception was an unfortunate moment in an otherwise impressive showing, but a big, game-changing play nonetheless that played a major part in the ultimate outcome.
"When you have a young guy in a moment like that, I think you explain to him, I know that feeling," Dorsey said Wednesday during an appearance on Cleveland Browns Daily. "If you're going to be the quarterback of this team and project yourself as a leader, sometimes feel that pain, remember your mistakes and let's try to correct those mistakes."
This wasn't the first one-on-one conversation between Dorsey and Kizer, of course.
During the pre-draft process this past spring, Dorsey, then the general manager of the Chiefs, invited Kizer for a visit to Kansas City. The youngest quarterback available in the draft, the former Notre Dame star wowed Dorsey and his personnel group with his maturity. He also handled himself well in the classroom with the team's coaches.
"He had a degree of maturity about his person that the normal 20-, 21-year old person does not have," Dorsey said. "He handled himself very well when we brought him in.
"He has some mechanical things he needs to work with but I like the growth. I thought last week, you take four or five plays out of there, he played pretty good."
The Browns practice before playing the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15.
Kizer's last play is the one that hurt the most. It was one of two turnovers that prevented him from having the "complete game" he's striving to notch before the end of his rookie season.
Three games remain for him to accomplish it, starting Sunday against the Ravens, and Kizer made it clear Wednesday he's processed the emotions he felt after the loss and entered the week with a clear, focused mindset.
"Everyone gets emotional. We all put in a lot of effort towards this trying to get a victory," Kizer said. "When you come short of your goal, everyone is going to be a little off. I think I do put a big emphasis on making sure that I'm the same guy every time I step back into this locker room to work on Wednesday and Thursday. I have been able to do so all year and will continue to do that."
Dorsey finished his message Sunday to Kizer with an analogy that serves as his backbone philosophy in a number of areas. It's on the rookie's shoulders to help bring the group together.
"It's not one person. It's all of us in this together," Dorsey said. "You can be five fingers when you take your hand out or you can be a fist. The fist is all those fingers gathered up as one and that's what real team bonding and unity is.
"I just tried to uplift his spirits and let's be real now. There's things you made mistakes with but you can get better."