Browns’ Kirksey shows off moves at football camp

FOSTORIA – Cleveland Browns’ linebacker Christian Kirksey showed off some moves during the Micah Hyde Football Camp at Fostoria.

Yes, the fourth-year player out of Iowa — where he was a teammate of Hyde’s — made some football steps as he worked on drills with kids.

But he also — after some prompting from some fellow NFL players — showed off a special celebration.

Kirksey dropped to his stomach and, to the delight of the onlookers, did the one-person dance “the worm.”

While some may have wondered why instructions on the dance weren’t part of the camp — to be sure, Kirksey showed remarkable agility in pulling off the jig — the linebacker was just joking around.

But he said he takes the responsibility of being a role model seriously. Working with kids at a camp like the one Saturday is part of that commitment.

“Whenever it’s about giving back to the community, being a positive role model to these kids, I’m all for it,” Kirksey said. “That’s the special thing about being able to play the game of football; the whole ‘give-it-back’ thing. Make sure you’re a positive influence to young kids.”

Kirksey’s connection to Hyde dates back to Iowa, when they were teammates for three seasons.

“He’s been a close friend of mine since the first day I met him,” Kirksey said.

Hyde said he spends time with Kirksey during the offseason.

“I’ve known him for a long time now,” Hyde said. “In the offseason we stay together out in San Diego, so, we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well.”

Like Hyde, who signed a big free agent deal with the Bills in March, Kirksey had a big offseason. Less than two weeks ago, he signed a four-year extension with the Browns.

Even though the Browns have had a rough, oh, two decades, Kirksey’s play has given fans some hope. Last year, even in a 1-15 season, Kirksey played all but two snaps, and had 93 solo tackles and 2 ½ sacks.

After talking to Kirksey about the camp, it was hard to resist asking the obvious question.

How are the Browns going to do in 2017?

“I’m feeling good about us,” he said. “You know, we’ve got some stuff up our sleeve.”

Kirksey also praised Browns coach Hue Jackson, who will be entering his second season leading the team.

“Hue’s doing an amazing job right now. We’re just getting a team bond together, getting that team chemistry,” Kirksey said, “and getting well-acquainted with some of the coaches who just got on board. We’re just out there, working hard.”

But there was still one more thing to be discussed.

Can Browns fans expect to see the worm at First Energy Stadium in 2017?

“I don’t know if I can do the worm at First Energy, because with the celebration (rules), I don’t think you can use the ground as a prop,” he said. “I’ll have to do the worm standing up, and I’m not sure how that goes.”

Fair enough, but if the Browns beat, say, the Steelers, or even better, dramatically increase their win total, Kirksey should at least teach his move to the rest of us.

That’d be plenty reason to celebrate.

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