Even though his first two years in the NFL may indicate a profession already down for the count, Green Bay Packers quarterback DeShone Kizer would like to make it crystal clear that no one should count him out.
The 23-year-old QB is preparing to begin his second season with the Packers after being traded from the Cleveland Browns past March. Staying in this league is a privilege no participant can take for granted and, as he enters Year 3, Kizer recently expressed that he’s feeling the heat more than ever before.
“Today, it is all about ensuring every time I step out on that area that I’m giving 100-percent effort. There is no complacency,” Kizer told Jim Owczarski of USA Today’s Packers News. “There’s no’second year’ anymore. You grow up within sports actually focusing in on development and understanding there’s a deadline that’s set up, so you don’t necessarily put as much stress on yourself to get things done right away.
“Well, that deadline is starting to shrink for me in the sense which the lifespan of an average NFL athlete is just three decades. This is year three to me. I’ve gone , I’ve put stuff on tape and now it is all about making certain that from here on out everything that I set tape actually reflects who I understand I can be.”
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For this point, Kizer’s film will show flashes of possible mixed together with the woes displayed by lots of young QBs before him. In his lone season with the Browns, Kizer was the man on a group that became just the next group in NFL history to go 0-16.
Kizer started 15 games that season — the one DNP came via a benching in Week 6 — and listed 11 touchdowns, 2,894 passing yards and a league-high 22 interceptions. In three game appearances with Green Bay, he went 20 of 42 for 187 yards and two picks.
Fast forward to 2019, Kizer is prepared to change his public perception. Since Aaron Rodgers’ understudy, Kizer’s goals may sound lofty but the Notre Dame merchandise has said he’s ready to spend the job.
“Personnel, particularly within this organization, is strictly upstairs. And I don’t get the job done upstairs. My office is downstairs. Therefore, my mindset is all about me. I have all of the confidence in the entire world that when I’m playing my best ball there’s no one who can stop me,” he shared. “For me to compare myself into a different backup quarterback who’s in or a tryout man who comes in would be dumb of me in the feeling that I would be restricting myself because I really don’t see myself as a career backup in this league.
“I don’t find myself as Aaron Rodgers’ copy for the final era of his career. I see myself. That is the goal I want to go toward. That’s the level I want to play . Therefore, if I’m competing and focused in on the backup contest, then once more, I’m restricting myself.”
Obtaining from underneath Rodgers’ highly touted shadow won’t be simple but Kizer will have a opportunity to keep learning from one of the game’s best in hopes of one day becoming another starting spot.
His career thus far has lacked consistency — he will be playing under his fourth head coach in three seasons this past year — but he is not letting that deter him. Kizer considers his confidence and attention will separate him.
“I genuinely think that I am on an upward trajectory. I am enjoying the best football I have ever played. I’m turning the ball over as much anymore. I’m seeing the match,” he explained. “I am learning so much from Aaron. I’m learning so much from the systems that I’ve been in that I really think that at any given point in time as we talk, if I could continue to remain on the road that I am on at the moment, that I can contact the path which I thought that I was on as a newcomer starting in this league.”
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