BEREA (AP) — When veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby looks at rookie Chris Kirksey, it’s like staring in the mirror.
And what’s looking back at him has potential — a lot of it.
“He reminds me of me,” Dansby said. “He has potential to be one of the best to ever do it if he applies himself.”
Kirksey is impressing everyone so far in his first NFL training camp and he’s doing it by leaning on the veterans around him, like Craig Robertson — whom he is battling for playing time at the weakside position — and Dansby.
The 6-2, 235-pound rookie’s attitude and work ethic hasn’t been lost on Dansby, who is entering his 11th year in the league. And to help Kirksey along, Dansby has been trying to lead by example.
Kirksey’s presence at camp hasn’t been lost on Browns coach Mike Pettine, either. Pleased with the young linebacker’s performance so far — he had three tackles in the Browns’ preseason opener — Pettine said earlier in the week that Kirksey would get more time with the first-team defense in practice.
And there he was on Wednesday, standing alongside Dansby on a number of plays, before breaking into coverage against both tight ends and even a couple of receivers in team drills.