“He has starter ability in this league, clearly.”
If you’d heard that comment without any context from Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, you’d probably think he’s talking about All-World quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Could he be referring to Brett Hundley, who filled in for Rodgers much of last season?
McCarthy was actually talking about a second-year quarterback, one who went 0-15 last season as a starter, and a guy who could be Green Bay’s third–string quarterback this fall.
Yes, the man with clear “starter ability” is none other than DeShone Kizer, formerly of the Cleveland Browns.
Before you’re done chuckling, McCarthy speculated on how Kizer would rate in this year’s NFL draft, which saw five quarterbacks chosen in the first round — Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson.
“In my opinion, if he was in that class this year, he would’ve been part of that group. I think he has exceptional arm talent,” McCarthy told Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette recently.
Talent is one thing, but performance is another, and Kizer has not performed well in the pros. As 247 Sports pointed out, his 11 touchdowns were the fewest of any player with 20 or more interceptions (Kizer had 22) since 1999.
Kizer — like any player — will be glad to leave the Browns, but especially Cleveland.
In his home games last season, Kizer did not throw a single touchdown pass.
The second-year player out of Notre Dame has welcomed the change.
“When stuff like this happens, you really can’t be prepared for it. The only thing I really know is the situation I had in Cleveland but, obviously, very excited now,” he said in March. “Looking back at it, I think it’s going to be an awesome opportunity to take a step back and learn from some great developers of the game and be around some great competitors and get back to winning the way I know how to.”
So far, Kizer’s new coach says things are going well with the former Browns quarterback.
“What we’re asking him to do is, particularly the footwork and just how he fits the scheme, and how we operate, it’s brand new to him,” McCarthy said of Kizer. “That always excites me, because when you see that guy has no experience or background but has the ability, to me that’s an opportunity for a lot of growth. So I think he has a bright future.”
Hopefully Packer fans won’t see that “future” any time soon, because if Rodgers gets injured again, it will be an even colder winter in Green Bay.
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