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What everyone is saying about DeShone Kizer

08/11/2017, 12:28pm EDT

Toledo native threw game-winning TD pass in pro debut for Browns

Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer reacts after wide receiver Jordan Payton caught a 45-yard pass for a touchdown during the second half of Thursday's NFL preseason football game against the New Orleans Saints. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Here’s a sampling of quotes from around Cleveland about DeShone Kizer’s first game with the Cleveland Browns, a 20-14 win over the New Orleans Saints in a preseason game Thursday night. Kizer threw the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.

"I think it's way to early to talk about that. Let's see it for what it was: The guy (Kizer) made some plays at the end to give us a chance to win, but there's still things he needs to do better. I'm sure he's the first to tell there's so many things to clean up. He's got a lot of work to do, but a night like tonight will give him confidence. I wasn't expecting perfection tonight." — Browns coach Hue Jackson

“DeShone Kizer impressed but the coronation can wait. Hue Jackson has a month to go before dealing with games that matter. He has 10 days before the Browns even play their next exhibition. You might as well take the deep breath he's espousing. After waiting decades for a franchise quarterback, the excitement is understandable. Then again, after this long, what's another month or two?” — columnist Bud Shaw

“DeShone Kizer looks better than Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler in Browns debut. Brock Osweiler finished his day six of 14 for 42 yards. Cody Kessler was up next, and went five of 10 for 47 yards. Then it was time for rookie DeShone Kizer, who outshone them both. Kizer gave the Browns a late-game lead on a 45-yard bomb to Jordan Payton, and he looked poised doing it. He completed 11 of 18 passes for 184 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions. The Browns’ second-round pick in this year’s draft, Kizer was praised for his raw skills coming out of Notre Dame, but had many wondering how long it would take him to adapt to the NFL level. Thursday’s performance is a good sign that he’s well on his way. It should be noted that he was playing with the third team and against third teamers from the Saints.” — SBNation

“If first impressions count for anything, the Browns might have found their quarterback.” — Blade sports columnist David Briggs

“There is a run option there on fourth-and-2. We were running the ball pretty well throughout that drive. I recommended that we check out of that run play. (Head) Coach (Hue) Jackson from his film study knew they were going to come up and play (Cover) 0. He gave me another option on top of that just to make sure if they did give us an all-out pressure look that we are able to max protect it and throw the ball down the field, and that is what we were able to do.” — Kizer on having the choice of two plays on fourth-and-2 game-winning TD pass to Jordan Payton

“The Saints were straight forward with what they were going to do. They are going to play you man, they are going to blitz you and if they are going to do that you have to be able to take shots on a team like that. We dialed them up at the right time and got ourselves into some great protection, and the offensive line protected great on those two big throws. It is up to me to maybe throw a tighter spiral so that (WR Richard) Mullaney can get in the end zone, rather than coming up a half-yard short.” — Kizer on his two long completions

“It is not too much different than things that we do all the time. Basically, if they give you an all-out pressure look, here is one play. Whether it be a run inside or a max-protection pass, here is the play for an all-out blitz and here is a play for if they want to get into any sort of a zone coverage. We had a run play dialed up that we knew we were going to be able to grab at least 2 yards on so it is up to me to just make sure that I get the look, identify what the defense is and make sure that we are calling the right play out there and put the ball up in the right spot so that someone else can go up and make a play.” — Kizer on if he felt any pressure on the final drive, specifically in the first NFL preseason game

“Yeah, this whole process, the goal is to gain confidence in everything that we are doing. There is a reason that we are still in training camp after preseason game one. It is because I am still in the developmental stage in my career. We are going to be able to go back now and watch this film and learn how to watch film in the NFL against an NFL opponent. I am really looking forward to that and to be able to step into the facility tomorrow, check it out on my own, do the things that I was able to do in college in terms of film study and then be able to step in the next day and now figure out how to up that, and watch (QB) Brock (Osweiler) and see what Brock does when he is evaluating himself and then obviously spend time with (quarterbacks coach) Coach (David) Lee and Coach Jackson so I can evaluate myself the right way.” — Kizer on if his performance gives him a confidence boost

“What got me here? Hopefully, there are a lot of other things other than the long ball that got me here, but I am pretty confident in extending the ball down the field. That was one thing that I was excited about when being drafted to the Browns is that Coach Jackson likes to push the ball vertically. If you can establish a good run game, then there is going to be some good play-action pass to throw the ball deep and that is what we were able to do today.” — Kizer on his ability to throw the deep ball

“Surprised me? As a quarterback, you can never be surprised. You have to be able to prepare so that you are not. Being able to sit out the whole first half, I was able to get a good idea of what they were doing on defense. Surprised? No, but definitely the speed and their ability to disguise looks and stuff are things that is hard to mimic when you are playing against the same team over and over and over. Eventually, you can start feeling what defense that your defense that you are playing against is going to show you, and when you go out there against a new opponent, it is always going to be a little bit of an adjustment from my angle to make sure that I can see the way that they are disguising things and what defenses they are running.” — Kizer on if there was anything New Orleans did that surprised him during his first NFL game

“Yeah, I definitely think I made some improvements. There are definitely still some communication things. There is one or two plays in there where I am backing out of the huddle and resaying it and I have to make sure that I am crisp. That play clock goes down fast. Whether it be the helmet malfunction or simply me not getting it in as fast as I possibly can, it doesn’t allow me to step up to the line, make the right check and make sure we are in the right play. I definitely have to continue to improve on that, but yes, I can definitely say from the scrimmage to now that I am still heading in the right direction.” — Kizer on if he felt much more comfortable in the preseason game compared to the Orange & Brown Scrimmage 

“That is something for (Head) Coach (Hue) Jackson. He understands the situation a lot better than I ever will. I know that I can trust in him to make sure that this developmental process goes in the right direction and continues to move forward the way we want it to. It is my job once again to just step up there when the reps are given to me and to maximize them to the best of my ability. Whether it be against the threes, against the ones or in a training camp practice or off of a card, it is my job to make sure I can go out there and play to the best of my ability whenever they call my name.” — Kizer on if it was helpful to play with and against backups and whether he’d like to start the next game

“Yes, the more you are out there the more comfortable you are going to become. There were disguises, some looks on me where there were blitzes where I knew where I was hot, and I was able to get the ball out fast. I wanted to make sure towards the end of the game that when you have to push the ball down the field. You can’t be hot all the time. You have to make sure you are in the right protection. The more I was out there, I was able to feel that a little more, become a little more comfortable, communicate a little better with the offensive line to make sure we were protecting things the right way.” — Kizer on if he was more comfortable than he thought he might be, particularly as he played the entire second half

“If I knew the answer to that, hopefully, it would have been a tighter spiral (laughter). There is a lot of movement. You are trying to push the ball 60 yards down the field. With all of that force and all of the different biomechanics and throwing the football, it didn’t come out the right way. It ended up being a duck.” — Kizer on why the spiral wasn’t tight on the deep pass to Mullaney

“Oh yeah, the excitement was there. The excitement was there. It had been a long time since I was able to compete. Not playing in a bowl game sets me back a whole month behind everyone else since the last time I was able to compete. To step out there and feel this game atmosphere and to compete against another team with my team and the camaraderie I have been able to create with my teammates in this last three months through our training camp and OTAs, to finally go out there and play against someone else was an awesome experience.” — Kizer on butterflies before the game

“You see it here and there. You see it obviously with a game-winning touchdown. You see it on a big play. Early in the game, I had a couple of throws where I was very comfortable with the route that was being run and I was able to let it go, but there were also some times when I was a little indecisive. You have to make sure that I can go back and watch that film study to turn that into some of my strong points. Right now, the big thing for me is to be able to identify my weaknesses. What am I doing that I don’t feel I’m doing out on the field? You can’t do that until you go back and evaluate that with your coaches. Once I can identify the things I am doing wrong out there so that I can compete the passes we had or the plays where we were in the wrong spots, I have to go make those my strengths. Hopefully, that will continue to head in the direction I have been heading in and continue to get better.” — Kizer on if tonight was a glimpse of him wanting to get comfortable enough to ‘let it rip’

“Honestly, it reminded me a lot of the start of my college career. That was a game-winning touchdown to Will Fuller (against Virginia) down the same left side right around the same distance where you just let it go and you know you just put it in the right spot. That was a really cool experience there, but I also have had some experiences in college. For example, against Stanford, you go and make that touchdown and get all excited, but then look at the clock and think, ‘Wow, there is a lot of time left.’ As much as I was excited to see that guy run into the end zone, you check out the clock and have to make sure you still have your helmet strapped up and be able to go back just in case they drive the ball back down.” — Kizer on his thoughts after the game-winning touchdown

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Tag(s): Pro  Browns