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DeShone Kizer keeps making critical mistakes; Hue Jackson says he’ll consider benching him

CLEVELAND — DeShone Kizer drifted left and let it fly into a flock of Ravens. Cornerback Brandon Carr made the fourth-quarter interception in the back of the end zone, sealing Baltimore’s 27-10 win Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Kizer has made the same type of throw far too often during his regrettable rookie season. It was his second interception of the day and league-high 19th of the season to go along with six lost fumbles.

In his 13th start, Kizer shouldn’t still be making the same panicked decisions.

“That is a fair question, if he will ever get it,” coach Hue Jackson said. “I think he will, but he has to keep working.


“Those are the things that he has to really fight against. That is one of the areas of the field where there have been some struggles, but there has also been some improvement. You want to keep it going that way. Today we took a step back.”


Kizer went 20-for-37 for 146 yards with two sacks, two interceptions, a fumble recovered by the Ravens for a touchdown and a 41.0 rating.

He has thrown six interceptions in the red zone, which is giving away points. This time he saw running back Isaiah Crowell in the back of the end zone and underthrew him into triple coverage.

“He didn’t see the things he needed,” Jackson said. “In those times of stress he has to think through it and make the right decision and not let it take him over.

“We have all seen him do it better, but we have also seen all of a sudden when it goes off the rails, it goes off the rails. He has to get better that way.”

A month ago Jackson said he wanted to see Kizer finish the season — after previously benching him three times, including for a whole game — but Sunday didn’t rule out sitting him for the final two games as the Browns (0-14) try to avoid a winless season.

“It is on me to make sure that I give my complete effort and continue to push as far as I can to finish out the season,” Kizer said. “We have two opportunities in front of us to go out and get a couple of wins to create some momentum going into the offseason.

“It is on me to make sure that I continue to prove who I am not only to the front office and my head coach but to my teammates. I have to make sure that whatever I do in these next two weeks I show them that I’m putting in the same effort to reward them for the work that they do each week.”

Jackson said he wants Kizer to finish the year but would watch the game tape and make the best decision to try to get a win. He will also consider Kizer’s physical, psychological and emotional well-being.

“I need to see where he is,” Jackson said. “This is tough on a young player. This guy has been battling as hard as you can all year. He is good one week and then not as good.

“I want to see where he is because this is about his future as a quarterback in the National Football League. It is not just about letting him play and seeing this or seeing that. I want to do what is best for him as we move forward.”

Kizer has been inconsistent throughout the season, with way more lows than highs. He’s completed 53.9 percent for 2,398 yards, nine touchdowns, 19 interceptions and a 59.4 rating.

He’s shown resilience after previous losses with multiple turnovers and wants the chance to bounce back again.

“Absolutely. These are all trials and tribulations that will lead to my success in the future. I truly believe so,” he said. “I have to continue to learn and continue to lean on my support team to continue to have the confidence to lead guys.

“Obviously, this position is very difficult and I learn that each week. Every time we step out there, every time we have an opportunity to play, it takes a lot to win. For me, it is just about doing everything I can to learn and put myself in a position to become a better player.”

The Kizer roller coaster took another dip in accuracy. He completed a season-high 71.4 percent last week in an overtime loss to the Packers but dropped to 54 percent against the Ravens.

Jackson referred to it as a “nosedive” and Kizer, 21, blamed his inconsistent mechanics.

“A lot of the mistakes that were made today were inaccurate balls and locations,” he said.

“There are a lot of things he has improved on. There are some things that he has to continue to get better at,” Jackson said. “He is young so he has work to do.”

Kizer admitted he’s felt the pressure of the winless season and the lack of clutch plays, and it’s affected him in critical moments.

“And that is something that I need to adjust,” he said. “There has been multiple times throughout this year where we are trying to get that big play. In order to do so, unfortunately, I forced a couple of passes.

“I have to eat that, but it is on me now to make sure that I learn from that and understand time and situation.”

He’s hoping to get another chance next week against the Bears.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.


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