Prior to Day 13 of Cleveland Browns training camp, the team made quarterbacks coach David Lee and defensive backs/cornerbacks coach DeWayne Walker available to the media.
Below is a recap of some of the things that Lee had to say on Sunday, and then we’ll get to Walker’s comments in a separate post.
- Much of Lee’s time was spent talking about rookie QB DeShone Kizer, as the media was eager to hear how he’s progressed in the eyes of the quarterbacks coach. Let’s start with what Lee said about Kizer’s abilities:
“He gives you big play ability in the passing game at the quarterback position. You guys saw it the other day with the two deep balls. He has a great, long arm. He can throw corner routes, post routes, skinny post on a line. He doesn’t limit you. You just get to throw whatever you want to because he has got such great arm talent.”
- Lee said that Kizer has already developed a lot since OTAs in the spring, but still has a long ways to go and they are excited to see if he can maintain the fundamentals he’s been working on when the prime time lights come on against the Giants. The type of fundamentals in particular that Lee is referring to is with Kizer (and Brock Osweiler) keeping his strides short:
“First thing, his stride length is considerably less than when he came here, which is a great, great advantage as a passer. As I have mentioned before, we talked about when your stride is out there and long, your body can’t catch up to your lower body because that ball is going to come out closer to your front foot. You would like for it to be in a straight line. He is way out. He is not anymore. He has cut a lot of his stride-length down, which should increase his accuracy. It should decrease high balls sailing over people’s heads. Does it happen occasionally? It happens to everybody, but that is what you fight hard fundamentally with DeShone on and (QB) Brock (Osweiler), also. They both have the same disease so we are fighting to shorten those strides.”
- Lee said that part of the problem with Osweiler and the overthrows we saw against the Saints were related to muscle memory, where old habits take over “when the bullets start flying.” Lee says its his job to keep on the quarterbacks about those habits, and a guy like Osweiler is aware right away of what went wrong. Tony Romo had time to correct his stride in Dallas before being thrown into action, but they’re trying to push the pace with Osweiler and Kizer:
“If you guys watch DeShone warm up, he puts his foot and steps into a cinderblock every day just warming up just to create the short stride. You can’t do it enough. I did it with (former Cowboys QB) Tony Romo for two years. He was ready really the third year and he didn’t get to play until the fourth year so he had plenty of time. We are crash-coursing these guys because it shoots your accuracy up.”
- Speaking about some of the adversity that Kizer faced against the Saints, Lee said that his helmet battery went dead for a little while, so he was out there on his own. He’s done a lot better with protection calls at the line, which was a concern earlier this offseason. Regarding the pump/shoulder shake to move the safety, and then the deep pass to WR Richard Mullaney, Lee said that he hasn’t taught that stuff yet to Kizer, but the fact that he was able to do it on his own naturally shows how good he can be. “We didn’t coach that, he did that,” said Lee.
- Back to Osweiler, Lee talked about how close he was to having a couple of touchdown passes and why things weren’t as bad as they seemed:
- Giving more props to Osweiler, Lee said that he may be more clear and better at the line of scrimmage than the likes of Vinny Testaverde, Drew Bledsoe, Tony Romo, and Chad Pennington, and that is something that he likely picked up on from Peyton Manning.
“As far as at the line of scrimmage and in the huddle, [Osweiler] may be better than all of them. He is so clear in the huddle -- X shell across, he looks at the X. I mean, he is great. He's just a pro in that area. I'm sure his time with Peyton has really paid off.”