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Introspective DeShone Kizer happy with offseason progress, ready to compete at training camp

Posted Jun 14, 2017

The rookie QB is competing to be the team's starter this fall

When the Browns drafted DeShone Kizer this past spring, they raved about his arm talent, prototypical size and willingness to learn.

But perhaps most of all, the former Notre Dame quarterback struck Cleveland with an unusual degree of self-awareness not commonly found in a 21-year-old.  

“One of the things that we found in talking with him was that he had really been self-reflective on some of the things that he wanted to improve upon,” executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said in April, “and he’s already working on those things and has been through the offseason. That’s one of the things you want to see in a young quarterback.”

That introspection was again on display Wednesday as Kizer spoke publicly for the last time before the Browns break for summer.

When the team returns in late July, he’ll have a chance to earn the starting quarterback job over veteran teammates Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler and Kevin Hogan.

“I’m pretty happy with where I am right now, in the sense that this whole OTA experience and now veteran camp was just an opportunity for me to put myself in a position to potentially compete when it comes training camp time,” he said. “Once again, I’m not in a position to even consider myself in that competition, but now after getting this base and getting the reps I have gotten in the last couple weeks, I think that by the time training camp comes around—with a little more work over this month off—I'll be ready to compete with these guys and see what I can do.”

Kizer, who passed for 5,809 yards and 47 touchdowns in two seasons with the Fighting Irish, took reps with the first-team offense on Day 1 of minicamp as coach Hue Jackson evaluates the roster from top to bottom.

“That’s the way it’s been since OTAs have started. You guys just had an opportunity to see it, so I think the players will tell you nothing has changed,” he said.  “We are just mixing and matching and giving guys opportunities. As I told you, I’m going to find out about our guys. That’s what I have to do over these next couple of days before we go to training camp and as we get into training camp.”

At his introductory news conference, Kizer spoke of wanting to start as fast as possible. Presented with those comments Wednesday, he shook his head and smiled.

“That draft day comment was quickly taken back as soon as I figured out where I need to go,” he said laughing. “There’s so much that I have to learn. I’m still in the same position I was last time we talked, and that’s just trying to put myself in the position to compete one day.

“I don’t know if that day is now—it is up to (the coaching staff) on when they decide to start comparing us,” he continued, “but for me, it’s all about learning as much as you can and becoming as comfortable as you can, so that I can compete one day for that starting job.”

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