CLEVELAND--In his third season in the NFL, Christian Kirksey had a breakout year.
Kirksey had a career-best 143 tackles to not only lead the Browns, but to finish third in the NFL in that department according to NFL.com. Kirksey had 44 more tackles than Demario Davis, who finished second on the team in tackles. In addition, Kirksey played all but two defensive snaps in the season. He had double-digit tackles in five games, including a career-high of 16 against the Patriots on Oct. 9. Kirksey had 2.5 sacks and three passes broken up.
Part of Kirksey's success was the play of fellow linebacker Jamie Collins, which freed Kirksey up and allowed him to make plays throughout the season.
Kirksey told The OBR this week that he's excited the Browns were able to sign Collins to a long-term contract.
"I think that was a great move for the organization," Kirksey said. "He's an extremely talented player."
Kirksey, 24, feels the signing of Collins is just the start of better days ahead for the Browns.
"Signing him back to the Browns is a huge step for us defensively and team-wise," he said. "Great guy and I know this organization is going in the right direction."
Kirksey (6-2, 235) is one of the up-and-coming young players that is eligible to be signed by the Browns to a contract extension. Kirksey was drafted in the third-round (71st overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft.