DeShone Kizer acknowledged Wednesday he’s encountered more adversity as a rookie with the Browns than some NFL quarterbacks endure in an entire career. And coach Hue Jackson conceded those experiences have left Kizer with “scars.” With two games remaining, he’s 0-13 as a starter for an 0-14 team that’s desperate to avoid a winless season. He had one of those starts interrupted by a migraine and another by bruised ribs. He’s been benched three times, and Jackson contemplated shutting him down a fourth time after he committed three turnovers this past weekend in a 27-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens but ultimately decided to stick with him as the starter for Sunday’s road game against the Chicago Bears (4-10) and rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Kizer also would have been replaced by Cincinnati Bengals backup AJ McCarron if the Browns hadn’t failed to finalize a deal by the Oct. 31 trade deadline. And in recent weeks, he’s faced questions about Jackson and new General Manager John Dorsey saying the franchise needs to find a quarterback in the offseason and Jackson admitting it’ll likely be compelled to pick one early, perhaps first overall, in April’s draft. “That’s what I think is so unique about it and so cool about this situation. In one year, I have been able to take what most guys get in four and five,” Kizer said. “That means hopefully once I get over this and learn from this situation, I’ll be able to be a better quarterback for longer than anyone who has gotten to that level has been.” Kizer’s teammates have seen how the losing and his inconsistent production has worn on him. He’ll have a good game, then follow it with a dud. The second-round draft pick (No. 52 overall) from Notre Dame has sat at his locker dejected after several defeats, including the most recent one. “He’s a young kid and he’s still learning and he has all the ability,” running back Duke Johnson said. “I mean, his confidence is probably shot, but that’s where his teammates and his family, his friends come in. They keep him up.” Kizer insisted his confidence isn’t in the dumps. “No, not at all,” he said. “My confidence will always remain high.” Jackson believes Kizer still has the right mindset. “Any quarterback who’s been under the duress that he has, that’s a struggle, but I think DeShone is still a very confident person and still a confident player,” Jackson said. “That being said, are there some scars there? You better know there are.
Duke Johnson: DeShone Kizer’s confidence is shot but we’re trying to keep him up
Akron Beacon Journal | Dec 20