It definitely wasn’t a good game for DeShone Kizer on Sunday.
He struggled from the start quickly going three-and-out, and it didn’t get any better from there. Towards the beginning of the second quarter, Kizer had to leave the game due to a migraine headache.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, Kizer has a history of the headaches, and that his biggest fear is having one while on the field.
It definitely happened on Sunday, and could happen again.
While those are out of his hand, his play isn’t. The biggest issue with Kizer has been his inability to let go of the ball. Instead of quickly finding his open receiver, he hangs onto it, and he either gets sacked or has an incompletion.
Some of it can be blamed on the offensive line not holding their blocks, but a lot of it is on him not reading the play, and the game being too fast for him. Instead of going through his reads and progressions, he gets happy feet, and makes a mistake.
He’s still a rookie, and learning on the fly, but more responsibility comes with that. He must learn to let go of the ball and not cost the team a down. If it’s one thing I remember from playing on the offensive line at times, it was that the quarterback is supposed to only have that ball for three seconds, and then release.
The line has to do their job, but the quarterback must already have a sense of what they’re going to do. It one of those things that a QB either has or doesn’t. It’s just like a player with a mean streak. Either they have it or they don’t. It’s not something you can be taught overnight.
I am glad he isn’t scrambling as much as he was in the preseason. It took one good hit against the New York Giants for him to realize that he needs to wait for the plays to develop, and only run if necessary.
Now he must apply that in these regular season games.
It also doesn’t help that the “receiving corps” hasn’t helped him out. He’s had some good passes, but they’ve turned into to drops or incompletions.
Kizer is still adjusting to the speed of the NFL game, and going through the growing pains, but he must improve each week to show that he’s making progress, and is ready to lead this team for years to come.