Comparing Kizer and Kosar
The Cleveland Browns turnaround is in the beginning stages right now, but the future looks bright. Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer looks to have the keys to this turnaround. Many quarterbacks have had the keys before for the Browns, but the last one to actually succeed was Bernie Kosar. We long for the days of the Kosar era when the Browns were legitimate contenders year after year. As Browns fans, we love Kosar for what he did for Cleveland and the Browns. We can only hope that we have that same affection for Kizer is the future. Will Kizer be able to follow in Kosar’s footsteps or will he falter like all the quarterbacks since.
Kizer and Kosar both are local Ohio guys and that’s just where the similarities start. Kizer actually shows many similar physical attributes as Kosar did. Kosar and Kizer are basically the same exact height with Kizer weighing about 20 pounds more than Kosar did. The one that jumps off the page is that Kizer has the same arm strength as Kosar. There wasn’t a throw on the field that Kosar couldn’t complete and the same goes for Kizer. Accuracy was an issue for Kizer at Notre Dame but Hue Jackson has quickly changed up Kizer’s footwork which looks to has already paid off during training camp. Kizer used his legs in college much more than Kosar ever did in his career, but I don’t expect that to be a big part of his game. Kizer will scramble to get out of trouble and perhaps pick up a few first downs with his legs, but don’t expect him out there running any read option plays.
Both players played their college careers at prominent programs, Kizer at Notre Dame and Kosar at Miami (FL). After each were redshirted their freshman year, both took over the next year as the starting quarterback. Kizer threw for over 2800 yards with 21 passing touchdowns along with 10 rushing touchdowns while Kosar put up over 2300 passing yards with 15 touchdowns. The book on Kizer says that he slumped the next season, but his numbers don’t exactly show that. He was a little less accurate, but he did cut down his interception rate while at the same time throwing three more touchdowns.
Leadership skills are a must for a franchise quarterback and I believe Kizer will again follow Kosar’s lead in this. I was able to watch Kizer actually play in high school and the leadership he showed there was beyond what anyone could expect from someone his age. I believe some of his leadership skills were overshadowed while he was Notre Dame by his dictator of a coach, Brian Kelly. It seemed at the time that Kelly was out to build his own brand rather than having the best in mind for his players. This was most apparent when he said that Kizer wasn’t prepared to be an NFL quarterback prior to the draft. I don’t remember a coach ever putting a player down like this. Kizer impressed me even more when he took the criticism and kept moving forward.
Kosar was forced into action his rookie season winning four of the 10 games that he started for the Browns. He struggled, throwing almost as many interceptions than he did touchdowns. Rookie struggles are expected especially from a quarterback, but Kosar excelled during his second season leading the Browns to the playoffs with a 12-4 record.
Kizer may be thrown into the same position during his rookie season much like Kosar. Kizer already looks to be the best quarterback on the Browns roster. I expect some growing pains for him this season, but the jump during his second season is what excites me the most. I fully expect him to have the Browns in playoff contention a year from now. Browns fans would be blessed to have Kizer follow the path of Kosar’s career. Things are looking up for the Browns with a young defense and Kizer in a position to lead the offense. Expect the Browns to improve by leaps and bounds from last season, but next season is the year that the playoffs are a legitimate goal.
Follow the author: @jross2221
Image made by: Mike Bartow
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