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Kizer: Thomas 'probably' right in saying I'm not ready


Browns All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas believes DeShone Kizer needs more time before he's thrown into the fire of a starting job.

Cleveland's rookie quarterback has taken those words to heart.

"He's been in the NFL since I've been in seventh grade, so whatever he says is probably pretty accurate," Kizer noted Thursday, per The Plain Dealer. "Obviously, it's still the same message that I continue to push. The more time you have, the more comfortable you become, the more confident you are throwing the ball, and he's just seconding that statement."

Said Kizer: "This is a process that has been preached to me from day one how this is going to go. When they're ready and I'm ready, I can trust in the fact that the coach is going to put me out there. So as long as I can continue to trust in them, which I will, there isn't really a timeline for myself. I'm just trying to get better every day and allow coach [Hue] Jackson to make the calls."

It's not that Kizer doesn't want to start -- he certainly does -- but the second-rounder has taken a realistic approach to his development ever since the Browns nabbed him the draft.

Mired in a three-way competition with second-year passer Cody Kessler and traded-for veteran Brock Osweiler, Kizer has already emerged as the most physically gifted of the trio, sporting a rocket arm and appropriate size and build for the rough-and-tumble AFC North.

Still, Thomas -- who's played with a constellation of quarterbacks during his decade-plus in Cleveland -- went out of his way to say this week: "I think they're grooming Brock to be the starter Week 1," adding: "Just because DeShone might be good in a few years doesn't mean he's ready now."

It's easy to see why Thomas subscribes to this theory, with Osweiler set to start his second straight preseason affair on Monday night against the Giants.

The reality in Cleveland, though, is that more than one quarterback will play this season, with Kizer a rock-solid candidate to make starts sooner than later if he doesn't win the job outright over the next two weeks.

It also make sense, on paper, to give Kizer time to grow, especially with the Browns set to face the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals during the first month of the season.

Osweiler, a quarterback saddled with mechanical ticks, is still a candidate to be traded -- and therefore "showcased" in August as injuries set in league-wide.

Cleveland fans felt a stir last week watching Kizer whip a pair of beautiful long connections downfield in the preseason opener. Coach Jackson knows the Browns need every ounce of that magic they can find. Put it together, and we're bound to see Kizer emerge as the starter -- it's simply a matter of when.


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