There is nothing wrong with a young player feeling a little confident. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft loves to tell the story about when a rookie Tom Brady vowed privately he would be the best decision the franchise ever made. He never compared himself to Joe Montana or Dan Marino. He simply made a statement of his own accord and proceeded to prove it on the football field.
That’s the exact opposite of what NFL prospect DeShone Kizer did in an interview with USA TODAY Sports.
The young quarterback boisterously proclaimed he had the football mind of Tom Brady and the athletic prowess of Cam Newton. That’s a heaping load of pressure that any rookie could do without. But now Kizer will have to carry that load and those outrageous comments for the rest of his career.
“No one else can do what I can do,” said Kizer. “And I’ve truly figured out in this (draft) process, if I can maximize all my potential in every aspect of the game – this is bold – I do have the ability to be the greatest quarterback to ever play. Imagine taking (Tom) Brady’s intellect and Brady’s preparation and putting it on a guy with Cam Newton’s body. Why can’t I be the greatest? The only thing stopping me from it is me. That’s what’s driving me now.”
Kizer might very well be the last one laughing by the time his career his done.
He makes a valid point. Why can’t he be the greatest? Brady is widely presumed to be the greatest quarterback in NFL history, and he was a sixth-round draft pick out of Michigan. He went on to win five Super Bowls and four Super Bowl MVPs.
But the one difference is Brady never compared himself to another player initially perceived as greater. Now, every time Kizer makes an inaccurate throw, people are going to go back to the Brady quote. Every time he fails to escape the pocket and make a throw on the run, people are going to go back to the Newton quote. He has opened himself up to a slew of future criticism.
“Name a college quarterback who goes into the game-plan meetings on Monday and throws his notes at the coaches,” said Kizer. “No one else game plans the way I do. No one else prepares the way I do. No one else knows football the way I do. No one else is as big as I am. No one else is as powerful a runner as I am.”
Brady wouldn’t have made these comments, and Newton has more size and better combine scores. There are no comparisons.