Kenny Britt is all in on DeShone Kizer – sort of

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt
TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt /

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Kenny Britt believes quarterback DeShone Kizer can be the real deal, but it will take some time for that to happen.

The Cleveland Browns had ample opportunities to fix the quarterback position during the first night of the 2017 NFL Draft.

They could have selected North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 1 overall selection, could have swung a deal to move up to select Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes, or sat tight at No. 12 to select Clemson’s Deshaun Watson.

The Browns passed on those options, of course, and waited to select Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer in the second round, the 52nd overall selection in the draft.

That, in turn, set off the always fun debate over when to turn the offense over to Kizer. Immediately, so the Browns can “see what they have?” Give him a few weeks and then turn him loose, possibly after the bye week in early November? Sit him for the entire season and let him learn the NFL game from the sidelines?

All the options are still on the table for head coach Hue Jackson, especially as the Browns are still in the early stages of training camp and have barely done more than practice in helmets and shorts.

But with each passing day, Kizer earns more and more buzz, which hit a high point over the weekend thanks to wide receiver Kenny Britt, an eight-year veteran who is in his first season with the Browns.

Britt was asked in a media session about Kizer’s play, and Britt’s response, according to, turned up the heat on Browns Twitter:

"“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 the 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. Yeah, 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.”"

Residents of the Kizer bandwagon immediately jumped on Britt saying that Kizer is “going to be one of the great ones.” That was enough for many to declare the quarterback competition as over, almost before it really began. The key takeaway, however, is that Britt said Kizer can be great if he remains on his current trajectory, which is significantly different from saying Kizer is ready to go right now.

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That is not to take away from what Britt said. After spending five years with the Tennessee Titans and three with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, Britt knows what a mediocre quarterback looks like, so he has a good frame of reference. If he says Kizer has what it takes, then Britt’s words should carry some weight.

That still doesn’t mean that Kizer is ready today, or that he will ever be ready, for that matter. Fans and some media members want a hard timetable established for when Kizer will be ready, but it can’t work that way.

Kizer has shown flashes of ability in the early stages of training camp, but that is all they are – flashes. He seems willing to put in the work, but how much work he needs to put in remains to be seen.

The key here is that the Browns did not select Kizer with the idea that he must start Week 1 or everything is lost. If he truly is the answer at quarterback, he will still be the answer in Week 5, or Week 9 or, if it comes to it, on opening weekend of the 2018 NFL season.

Britt may be right about Kizer, but it is important to look past just the headline-grabbing portion of his comments. Kizer still has a lot of work to do, and there is only so much that Jackson can do to accelerate the process.

Next: Quarterback decision not coming soon

For the moment, Browns fans should try to enjoy the journey, rather than worrying about what time it will come to an end.