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Joe Thomas: Kizer 'embodies what a professional is'

Joe Thomas is finished with fortune-telling when it comes to Cleveland's quarterback room.

The All-Pro left tackle acknowledged Thursday that his previous prediction -- saying Brock Osweilerwould start the season over rookie DeShone Kizer -- has proven to be bunk.

"Everyone always asks me about quarterbacks," Thomas said, per The Plain Dealer. "I always say I don't really know anything about quarterbacks, and I proved it in this case."

Thomas, though, isn't disappointed to see Kizer earn the nod for Cleveland's regular-season tune-up against Tampa Bay, an audition that almost certainly points to a starting gig come Week 1.

After all, the rookie knows what Thomas has been through -- playing with roughly a billion signal-callers -- leading Kizer to say: "It's my ultimate goal for him to not see another one."

"It's exciting to hear him say that," Thomas said. "I've seen nothing but positives from DeShone. It's exciting to play with somebody that has that much passion for the game but also this team. He's an Ohio kid, and I think he understands what's happened here and he understands where he wants to take this team.

"You see the physical skills, obviously, and it's fun watching him improve and the way he grows from practice to practice."

Kizer is in for a long season, no matter how much potential he offers. His arm strength and size are NFL-ready, but the preseason also reveals a quarterback who occasionally holds the ball too long. Still, he's done more to move the offense than Osweiler and gives coach Hue Jackson a hand-picked quarterback to mold from Day One.

"DeShone really embodies what a professional is, even as a rookie," Thomas said. "He understands how to work, how to study the game. He understands the commitment it takes to be a starting quarterback. So if ever there was a great combination for a rookie quarterback and coach, it'd be Hue and DeShone."

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