CLEVELAND -- Two weeks after getting benched midway through a 17-14 loss to the New York Jets, rookie DeShone Kizer was reinstalled as the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns for this Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium.
And after sitting out for six straight quarters, Kizer understands what needs to be done to remain on the field.
“I think it is understood now that if you are not performing, there is definitely going to be a guy who can perform, but it is on me to make sure that that question never comes back up, go out there, do my job to the best of my ability and make sure that No. 7 is out there leading this team for years to come,” Kizer said.
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Prior to Wednesday’s practice, coach Hue Jackson announced that Kizer would start for the Browns (0-6) against the Titans (3-3), who are in a first-place tie with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans in the AFC South Division.
In his first five starts, Kizer completed 81 of his 159 attempts (50.9 percent) for 851 yards with three touchdowns against nine interceptions. Additionally, Kizer took 12 sacks for 63 lost yards and had a 49.5 quarterback rating.
“For me, I am learning every day different things that I can do as a quarterback to help this team,” Kizer said. “That is why it is a process, and that is why it typically takes some time for guys to become the Tom Bradys and the Peyton Mannings of the world, but I’m enjoying it.
“There is no other place I would rather be than right here going through the things that we are going through because I am learning who I am personally. I am learning about everyone around me, and it is just going to make it that much sweeter when we do figure this thing out and I figure this thing out and become the quarterback that I want to be.”
At 0-6, the Browns find themselves in last place in the AFC North Division, one of just two winless teams remaining in the National Football League and are on the wrong side of the worst point differential in the league.
Over the last three years, the Browns have gone 4-34, and the record has not been much better since Jimmy and Dee Haslam officially purchased the team in October of 2012.
In five seasons under Haslam’s majority ownership, the Browns have posted an NFL-worst 15-55 record. Factoring in the remaining games of the 2012 season after the sale was approved at an NFL Owners Meeting in Chicago, Haslam’s Browns have gone 19-60.
“This opportunity right now in front of me is the best opportunity you could possibly have,” Kizer said. “To walk into a team that had just won a Super Bowl and was undefeated would be a completely different situation and you would be able to learn in a different way, but for me, this is the best opportunity for me to learn about myself, learn about my teammates and what it takes to win in this game.”