BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer may be in the midst of his first NFL training camp, but he has already made an impression on veteran wide receiver Kenny Britt.
No stranger to having to team up with multiple quarterbacks in a season, Britt believes Kizer has the potential to be one of the best signal-callers in the league if he continues on his current path of working hard and committing himself to his craft.
“He’s growing each day, each day,” Britt said prior to the start of Sunday’s practice.
“From OTAs, I could tell he was a different person. I actually asked him yesterday has the offense slowed down for him. He said, ‘Yes,’ and I could tell that he’s looking at certain things. He’s seeing defense before the snap count, and once he lines up, he knows there’s certain things he has to do, and he’s going to be one of the great ones.”
In his two years as a starter at Notre Dame, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Kizer completed 423 of his 696 attempts for 5,809 yards and 47 touchdowns against 19 interceptions.
Pressed into service because of an injury to Malik Zaire during the 2015 season, Kizer completed 211 of his 335 attempts for 2,884 yards and 21 touchdowns against 10 interceptions over 13 games with the Fighting Irish.
During a 4-8 season in 2016, Kizer battled through coaching issues to complete 212 of his 361 attempts for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns against nine interceptions despite being sacked 25 times behind the Fighting Irish’s struggling offensive line.
Despite the struggles of 2016, Kizer was a second-round pick of the Browns in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he was committed to making improvements in his game, even after the team concluded the offseason program in mid-June.
Along with teammate Cody Kessler, Kizer headed to California to work with renowned quarterbacks coach Tom House.
“If he keeps going, focuses on the track that he’s on, to tell you the truth, he could be one of the great ones,” Britt said. “He’s learning fast and he’s got a strong arm.”
Although he is the least-tenured quarterback of the four on the Browns’ training-camp roster, Kizer has gotten to work with the projected starters over the first three days of on-field work at the team’s Berea headquarters.
And should Kizer win the starting job out of training camp or be pressed into service because of an injury to someone ahead of him on the depth chart, Britt feels everyone will benefit from the chemistry created in training camp.
“It takes experience and it takes practice, and that’s why we practice each and every day, to make sure that we’re on the same page,” Britt said. “If we’re not, it’s to go back and talk, go over what he’s thinking about, what I’m thinking about on certain plays and the defense that he sees and the defense I see.”