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Browns rookie Kizer shows 'moxie' despite loss

From ESPN - September 10, 2017

CLEVELAND -- DeShone Kizer did not get a win in his NFL debut, but he did get respect.

His coach -- and more importantly his opponents -- said Kizer's play and persistence were impressive, as the rookie finished 20-of-30 for 222 yards with one touchdown throwing, one running and one interception in the Cleveland Browns' 21-18 season opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

His final touchdown came with 3:50 left, and had the defense been able to get the ball back, he would have had a chance for an uplifting comeback.

"I like DeShone," coach Hue Jackson said. "I like the feel of him on the sideline with me. I love our communication. He did some good things. There are some opportunities that he is going to be the first to tell you he wish he had back. That is going to happen to a young quarterback, but this guy gave us a chance. He put the team in position to give us an opportunity to make something special happen."

The Steelers also noticed Kizer's performance.

"He had some good moxie," Steelers defensive lineman Cam Heyward said, adding Kizer is "a pretty balanced kid."

"We are both from northwest Ohio, both wear number seven," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "I thought he played a great game. He did some great things against a defense that gets after it, but I told him afterward, 'what an awesome start.'

"I know it's not getting a win, but just to play the way he did, I was proud of him."

Kizer said he felt comfortable and very little caught him by surprise. He stood in the pocket and at times called plays at the line. He guided touchdown drives of 68 and 73 yards, but scored on just three of 10 possession.

"Obviously, there are some drives that we are proud of and that we are headed in the right direction on, but there were also some lulls within the game that we have to try to cut back on," Kizer said.

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