DeShone Kizer Quotes

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On how he is physically feeling:
“Good. Good. Obviously, there were a couple hits out there that I am trying my hardest not to take, but [I am] good. Completely healthy through it.”

On his NFL debut:
“I have said over, over and over again that as a quarterback, your job is to put your team in a position to score points and win games. 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. The defense playing as well as they are, it is our job on offense to complement that and turn that into points.”

On his interception:
“An athletic, defensive end/linebacker hybrid went up and got one on me. I am trying to put the ball over top of him. Obviously, this is all going to be a learning process. These guys who are stepping out there, who I am playing against are quite athletic and he goes up and makes a good play on the ball.”

On converting third downs and it resulting in a TD drive:
“We are comfortable. We are moving. The momentum is back in our way. That is how we need to play at all times. The run is complementing the pass. The pass is complementing the run. We are taking what is given. We are reading defenses the way we are supposed to. Obviously, that leads into a clutch touchdown at the end of a quarter.”

On how it felt to score his first NFL TD:
“Yeah, it was awesome. Obviously, it was at the point of the game where we needed some momentum to turn back after a special teams touchdown. It is up to us on offense to make sure that we go out there and swing things back our way. A little energy afterwards is also good for the team.”

On if the pass to WR Kasen Williams was a catchable pass:
“Eh, that ball needs to be on the red line. That is 3 three yards off the sidelines. That ball is a little high and outside and moves him out of bounds. Obviously, those are the plays we need within the game, those big plays. Those are things that change the momentum that obviously can turn a game like this into a victory on our side.”

On if he felt comfortable today:
“Absolutely. Absolutely.”

On if the Steelers defense caught him by surprise, given his changes at the line of scrimmage:
“No, we prepared well for this game. We got every look we expected to get. Nothing too crazy on our part. Obviously, the communication is a big key, especially in a home situation. You have to be able to go out there and make sure that every play is executed the right way in terms of the way that you are presenting it to your offense, and I think I did a pretty good job of that.”

On his mindset after the TD that cut the lead to three points in the fourth quarter:
“Just get the ball back. I have the ultimate trust in our defense that anytime they are out there that they are going to get the ball back to me. We are trying to do what we can on the sideline to prepare and know it is going to be a two minute situation and then win the game in the fourth quarter.”

On if the sacks caused him to feel more ‘beat up’ than usual:
“No, obviously, back in college, I was running a power running game from the quarterback position so I was used to taking hits. Obviously, now at this level, it is my job to be out there for my teammates, and in order to do so, you have to try to limit as many hits as possible.”

On ‘bouncing back’ from giving up a first possession special teams touchdown:
“You go in and you use that as a learning opportunity to see what the defenses are giving to you, make the proper adjustments and come back out there. Not everything is going to go your way, but it is you job as a quarterback and our job as an offense to make the proper adjustments to make sure that they do turn that away in the next drives.”

On if it seemed the Steelers pass rush was getting to him more quickly than anticipated:
“No, not really. It is my job, once again, to make sure that the ball is out of harm’s way. Our offensive line was up there holding up tight. I am holding onto the ball a little too long at times. I have to make sure that when the check-down is possible, you go out there and hit the check-down. When you have the ability as a quarterback to move with your legs a little bit to extend plays, you tend to become a little complacent with things that are happening around you. You want to try to step up and make things happen, but I think one of the biggest things that I learned today is when there is an opportunity to get the ball to the running back in the check-down, you have got to put it in his hands because he goes and makes plays. I think we saw that in the fourth quarter. Even with a guy right behind Crow (RB Isaiah Crowell), he is going to be able to make a play with his feet.”

On if he felt he was progressing as the game proceeded:
“Yeah, I think that I was more comfortable towards the end. Obviously, you see how a defense plays and you see how the corners are playing and how things are happening. As that goes, you become more comfortable as a quarterback.”

On if he feels he validated Jackson’s decision to be the starting quarterback:
“I think that exact question should go to Hue Jackson.”

On the interception:
“We had an opportunity to get an out-breaking route on the outside. He converted it. It was going to be a back-shoulder ball at that point.”

On playing against Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who he watched when he was younger:
“When we first got out there and to see him warming up, it was obviously a surreal moment, but the competitive juices get flowing, you are just trying to go out there and do whatever you can to execute your job.”

On sources of optimism following Sunday’s loss:
“Absolutely. As a team, I think that our mission is to have a really good defense and an offense that complements that with a run game that obviously comes first. I think we say that out there, that our offensive line is out there working their butt off and they are doing a really good job with that. Now, it is on me, and it is on this offense, to make sure that we do a little bit better of a job complementing our defense. In order to do so, it is limiting turnovers. Obviously, we had one out there today that changes the game when we are driving. On top of that, it is on me to make sure that I am complementing that offensive line to make sure that I am not taking the sacks that I am taking. I do not know if there is one sack that I could not have avoided if that is probably throwing the ball away in the red zone or escaping the pocket and getting out of there.”

On if he spoke with Roethlisberger after the game:
“A little bit. We knew that we were going to see each other soon here. This is a divisional game and looking forward to creating a little bit of a rivalry if we can come out and play the offensive game that we need to.”

On if Roethlisberger said anything unique or special to him:
“No, not really.”

On being his own worst critic and if he will reminisce on how close he came to beating the Steelers:
“The competitor in me probably will never think that way. I know that we have got to show who we are and the progress that we are making. That is being able to go against what is known as one of the better teams in our conference consistently that way. Now, we need to go out there and make sure that the lulls that we talked about earlier are eliminated and that we are driving that ball down as much as we can. Every time that we go out there, we are expecting to score points.”