Packers' DeShone Kizer cites reasons for red-zone misfires

Tom Silverstein
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Green Bay Packers quarterback DeShone Kizer (9) looks to pass against the Tennessee Titans during their football game Thursday, August 9, 2018, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

GREEN BAY - The passing results were not good, but Green Bay Packers quarterback DeShone Kizer said his two long drives that made it inside the red zone Thursday night against Tennessee could have been better with a couple of adjustments.

That’s why he’s not sweating it.

At the end of the first half of the Packers' 31-17 victory, Kizer was unable to finish off a 16-play drive with a touchdown, misfiring on his final five pass attempts, including a fourth-down fade to rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the corner of the end zone.

At the end of a 14-play drive in the third quarter, the Packers did score, but Kizer missed on two attempts that could have been touchdowns. On one of them, pass interference was called and he got another chance.

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The drive ended with running back Joel Bouagnon punching it in from the 1-yard line.

“It’s 100 percent timing,” Kizer said. “When you take a game that is built for 100 yards and you’re bringing it down to 10 or 20, you’re taking a lot of guys and putting them in a little bit of space. In order to complete those passes, you have to have great timing, you have to have great anticipation and you have to understand defenses.”

The timing appeared to be off on a number of the routes and throws, and Kizer said part of the reason was that first-year Titans head coach Mike Vrabel and his defensive coordinator, Dean Pees, were trying things the Packers weren’t necessarily prepared to face.

In exhibition football, Kizer said, you prepare with a narrow game plan that doesn’t always allow the offense to exploit things the defense is doing. He said the Titans brought a number of blitzes that the Packers did their best against.

“When you’re playing against a new head coach for the first time, you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen down there,” Kizer said. “You try to get all-encompassing concepts that you can get answers to, but typically when we get down there we’ll have a much better plan in the sense of game-planning and making as many adjustments as you can and opening the playbook.

“Right now, you don’t want to show too much and make sure you’re thinking players and not plays and that’s what we did. We took some shots at some backside receivers and hopefully, moving forward we’ll have some more success down there."


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