CLEVELAND -- Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer has learned plenty of lessons since joining the Cleveland Browns through a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and another lesson came through experience after Sunday’s 12-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Following the loss, Kizer was asked about a video that shows him at a bar well after midnight on Friday night, and although defiant in his initial responses Sunday, he addressed the situation after Monday’s film session.
“Absolutely, I’ve learned that this is a distraction,” Kizer said. “We’re sitting here and talking about this and teammates are coming up to me and asking me about this.
“There’s so many cameras around here, it’s going to be made a pretty big deal and with that, it’s on me to make sure from here on out, I’m not a distraction and I’m an asset to the team and not a guy who is pulling away from the ultimate goal.”
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Kizer said Friday night’s events were one of the many things he does throughout the week to create a stronger bond with his teammates.
“I can tell you one thing that does pull you away from relationships and that's distractions,” Kizer said. “That's me having to stand in front of you guys in our locker room where we hang out and talk about something that's not winning. So, yeah, I'm doing whatever I can to create that camaraderie and this isn't a part of it.
“It is rare for me to be out at that hour. I felt as if my preparation that week was going as planned. I felt very prepared for the game. It didn’t really alter me from my typical process, and unfortunately, it becomes a distraction and that’s exactly what I didn’t want it to be and I’m going to learn from this and make sure that everything I do from here on out off the field is only directed towards the ultimate goal of getting our first victory here.”
After having a discussion with Browns coach Hue Jackson early Monday, Kizer expressed regret for his decision, saying, “That’s not who I am. My mother wouldn’t be proud of this and that’s pretty much the biggest takeaway is do whatever you can to make sure you’re not a distraction.”
Additionally, Kizer vowed to do everything to get the Browns going in the right direction after an 0-7 start and a fourth-place showing in the AFC North Division.
“This organization, this fan base, this city wants to win, and anything that's not heading towards winning is going to be recognized,” Kizer said. “There's going to be a conversation somewhere about it. You guys are going to write about it because that's the ultimate goal here and we need to get to that.
“In order to get to that, you've got to be, as a quarterback, you have to be a leader who's leading the team in the direction that only heads that way, no steps back at this point.”