“There’s so much I need to learn before I can even consider thinking about competition and trying to play,” Kizer said Monday, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Right now, I’m at step one. I need to get to level 500 before I can even consider stepping on an NFL field.”
Entering the draft, most analysts believed Kizer owns the physical tools to be a pro starter, but needed grooming before he was ready to take over a gig.
The rookie landed in a perfect spot to learn under one of the best quarterback tutors in Hue Jackson. The Browns coach has loaded up Kizer’s workload to see how the Notre Dame product processes information.
“I’m not babying him — that’s for sure — because the other teams won’t baby him, either,” Jackson said. “He just has to get used to it, and I think he has. He’s been outstanding that way. He gets it. He knows that my charge for him is a consistency level at a high level all of the time, and that is not going to happen in two days.”
The starting job is Kessler’s now, but out of all the rookie quarterbacks selected in this year’s draft, Kizer has the cleanest path to the starting gig.
He’s not there yet, but expect the rookie to see time as a starter this season even if he doesn’t win the job out of the gate. It’s a job Kizer understands has a steep learning curve.
“As we move forward, things are going to move quicker,” he said. “I’m going to be out there with a bunch of veterans, and that’s when we will figure out where the big steps need to be taken. (When) we get out here and have all of the top older guys running around with us, then I’ll be able to focus in on the things that it’s going to take for me to compete with those guys.”
With the Browns continuing the decades-long search for a starting quarterback, the team needs to know if Kizer can be that player or whether that man could be in next year’s draft. To find out quickly, expect Jackson to apply a sink-or-swim approach to coaching Kizer.