DeShone Kizer realizing jump to NFL won’t be easy

Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

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A few NFL practices have toned down the early bravado shown by Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer.

His reality check came in the form of a playbook heavier than a brick. Professional quarterbacks are expected to learn the playbook from front to back and also be able to relay the plays to his offense. There’s a good reason few get the position right.

Kizer is learning that the hard way.

“Maybe I didn’t do as much as I should have going into this, but I after seeing what it takes to precisely communicate to the guys, I’ve been spending a lot of my free time just saying it out loud rather than just reading through the script,” Kizer told Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “That’s going to be the biggest transition for me coming from a team where it was all hand signals in high school and also in college.”

It was only a month ago that Kizer was chatting up USA Today about his otherworldly potential as a quarterback. He said he could be the “greatest quarterback to ever play” in the NFL, but that quote didn’t generate nearly as much buzz as him comparing himself to Tom Brady and Cam Newton.

According to Kizer, he has the same mind for football as Brady and the same body as Newton. Those were lofty comparisons for a rookie quarterback joining a franchise that has seen only one playoff berth in the last 20 years.

Kizer tried to walk back the comments by claiming his words were taken out of context, but they did come out of his mouth. It’ll be tough to gloss over that kind of talk if he fails to succeed on an NFL level.

The Browns might be wise to hang onto Brock Osweiler for at least a year to ensure the proper development of Kizer. After getting his first taste of the NFL, Kizer isn’t sure if he’ll be ready to start right away. That’s actually refreshing to hear from a rookie quarterback. There shouldn’t be any rush to put him on the field.

Browns general manager Sashi Brown and head coach Hue Jackson had a fantastic draft this year. They should continue focusing on putting the right pieces in play, while giving Kizer time to learn the playbook and get comfortable running the offense.

“The only thing I’ve been studying is the playbook,” said Kizer. “Once again, I can’t even worry about playing my first year nor competing in practice in a couple of weeks until I understand how to run this offense.”

Until further notice, it’ll be the Cody Kessler and Osweiler show in Cleveland.