CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer threw 11 of his 32 attempts in Sunday’s 19-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center to returning wide receiver Josh Gordon.
Kizer and Gordon connected on only four of those 11 throws, but Browns coach Hue Jackson believes the chemistry will get better between the young quarterback and talented receiver the more they share the field on game day.
“I think a lot of it is game reps,” Jackson said. “You can do a lot of this stuff and simulate a lot of this stuff in practice, but the game rep of how a guy runs a route, what your drop is, the timing of everything and how it is going to time up in a game is different.
“I think we saw some of that. We saw some plays that were made. We saw some plays that were left out there. I think until they have these game situations and you start to understand Josh’s body language and how he goes about doing things and whether as a quarterback, I need to quicken up my drop or stretch my drop or these things, the anticipation when the ball comes out, you are learning.”
PHOTOS: Josh Gordon makes plays in return to Cleveland Browns
Gordon turned his four receptions into 85 yards, both of which led the team, and his 39-yard reception late in the fourth quarter was the longest pass play of the day for the Browns.
“I thought that was a huge learning piece for DeShone,” Jackson said. “Hopefully, we will be better because we will practice. DeShone will not just let it be, ‘Let’s go have this normal rep.’ It has to be a real legitimate game, full-speed rep so that you don’t miss those anymore.
“Not that we don’t do that, but I still think it is easier when you are going on air and doing those things. Now, all of a sudden, here comes the game and somebody is next to him who is trying to take the ball for the other team and take it away. That is a different type of pressure. You just have to work through those things.”
Kizer completed 15 of his 32 attempts for 215 yards and one touchdown with a lost strip-sack fumble and interception on the Browns’ final two possessions of the game against the Chargers. It was Kizer’s sixth .500 or worse completion percentage in 11 NFL starts.
“I think it is something that you can coach because fundamentally, you can help a guy be better,” Jackson said. “Then, I think it is something that a player also has to work through. If you are missing balls because your fundamentals are not right, you have to get the fundamentals right in order for the ball to be delivered to the right spot.
“I think it is a combination of both in quarterbacks that you are mentioning that those lead to struggles. If you are not fundamentally consistent in what you do, it will be hard to be consistent in how you throw the ball accurately all of the time, so it is something that you have to work through.”