Welcome to the big leagues. Rookie DeShone Kizer hasn’t even thrown a ball in a real NFL game and already he has something in common with one of the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady: What would that be you may ask? Well, opposing defenses use the same game-plan against both of them.
In the Steelers’ Week 1 contest against the Browns, Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward has explained the teams game-plan for the Browns’ rookie quarterback, and it’s actually quite simple.
“Hit him often, hit him early,” Heyward told ESPN. “Doesn’t really work if you don’t hit him. You can sell all these different things, but if you don’t hit the quarterback, he’ll have time to dissect the defense.”
Now if that has a familiar ring to it, that would be because it’s the exact formula that’s required to beat Brady.
“The way to beat Tom Brady is to hit him,” DeMarcus Ware wrote in The Players’ Tribune in June. “As many times as you can, hit him. And even then, it might not be enough.”
Without stating the obvious: hitting any quarterback is a guaranteed to limit his production, and obviously put him under duress. Being able to generate pressure is arguably the most important quality a defense can have and Kizer will be seeing lots of that come game-time.