Ben Roethlisberger told DeShone Kizer he’s a ‘helluva player’
DeShone Kizer has a new fan in light of his impressive NFL debut: Fellow quarterback and Ohio native Ben Roethlisberger.
The Pittsburgh Steelers as usual came out on top in a showdown with division-rival Cleveland Browns on Sunday, winning by a score of 21-18. And as the margin of victory suggests, the Browns gave it their all in a bid for an upset.
Some of the credit for the Browns staying in the game should go to Kizer, who went 20-of-30 passing for 222 yards to go along with one touchdown and one interception. Kizer also rushed for a touchdown in the loss.
Roethlisberger made sure to seek out Kizer after the game to pay the rookie quarterback a compliment.
“You’re a helluva player,” Roethlisberger said in describing his post-game chat with Kizer, via Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “Wish you all the best, stay healthy.”
Roethlisberger grew up in Findlay, Ohio, only 40 miles away from Kizer’s hometown of Toledo, Ohio. Big Ben praised Kizer for representing their home region so well in his debut.
“We’re both from northwest Ohio, both wear number seven,” Roethlisberger said. “I thought he played a great game. He did some great things against a defense that gets after it, but I told him afterward, ‘What an awesome start.’ I know it’s not getting a win, but just to play the way he did, I was proud of him.”
Kizer mentioned it was “obviously a surreal moment” to see Roethlisberger on the field during pregame warmups but declined to reveal what the two discussed after the game.
“We knew that we were going to see each other soon here,” Kizer said. “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.”
The Steelers have gone an incredible 21-2 against the Browns during Roethlisberger’s career. Perhaps Kizer’s debut can serve as inspiration for the Browns after serving as the Steelers’ lap dogs all these years.