Browns QB Kizer goes through head games in rookie year
BALTIMORE (AP) — Playing against the Baltimore Ravens defense turned out to be a real headache for Cleveland Browns rookie DeShone Kizer.
Long before he threw the last of his three interceptions Sunday, Kizer left the game with a migraine. He returned in the third quarter, but the former Notre Dame starter never quite found a comfort level in a 24-10 defeat.
After playing well in a season-opening loss to Pittsburgh, Kizer struggled in his first road game against another strong defense .
“I don’t feel like I was ever in a rhythm today,” Kizer said. “Baltimore has a good defense that made it hard for us.”
In addition to his three interceptions — two in the fourth quarter — Kizer also lost a fumble and was sacked twice . He went 15 for 31 for 182 yards and finished with a miserable 27.3 quarterback rating.
That, however, wasn’t connected to the migraine that forced him to miss four series.
“My migraines are hereditary,” he said. “That had nothing to with what happened in the game. When I came back in the second half, I was fine.”
Kizer shouldn’t feel too badly about how things went. The Ravens, after all, picked off veteran quarterback Andy Dalton four times in a 20-0 win over Cincinnati one week earlier.
Inexperience is the main issue for Kizer, an athletic quarterback who at this point is exceptionally inconsistent.
He ran for 26 yards and moved the Browns on several drives, but coach Hue Jackson must have been furious when Kizer waited too long in the pocket before being hit and fumbling in the first quarter.
The rookie might also have trouble explaining a fourth-quarter interception by Lardarius Webb in the end zone on a second-and-goal at the 7.
“There were some unfortunate things, but there’s things that he will grow from because they need to happen,” Jackson said. “You’ve got to keep your poise.”
As the final seconds ticked away in a loss that dropped the Browns to 0-2, Jackson took Kizer aside for a little chat.
“It’s go back to the fundamentals, back to playing with urgency,” Jackson said. “He’s not going to play every game perfectly. I know that.
“Me and him had a great conversation on the sideline. He gets it. I think he understand more than ever: If you turn the ball over, your team doesn’t get cracks at it.
“He will grow from this.”
Kizer is thankful to get the chance to work on a coach who will allow him to grow in a game situation for a team that desperately wants to win.
“Coach Jackson has been real good to me,” he said. “Everything is a blessing — the good, the bad and the ugly.”