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KANSAS CITY Orange Duke Johnson Jersey , Mo. — Mitchell Schwartz was chosen by Cleveland in the second round of the 2012 draft with the idea he could be the next Joe Thomas, or at the very least learn from the Browns‘ star offensive tackle.Well, he did learn a lot of lessons. The biggest may have been durability.Thomas once played 10,363 consecutive snaps over the span of 11 seasons before hurting his left arm in a game against Tennessee. The streak that began with Week 1 of his rookie year and survived a slew of injuries, including torn and strained knee ligaments and multiple high ankle sprains.Schwartz, who returns to Cleveland for the first time on the opposing sideline Sunday, has his own incredible streak going now that he’s with the Kansas City Chiefs.After playing every snap his first four seasons with the Browns, and continuing it during the past two-plus seasons in Kansas City, the snap count is up to 6,870 over the course of 104 games.“He’s done a heck of a job being able to endure,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “He had a good teacher he learned from, too, in Thomas. He had a nice streak going before he got hurt. Mitch has been tremendous. He’s one of the smartest linemen I’ve ever been around.”Schwartz filled a massive need when the Chiefs signed him to a five-year, $33 million deal, and he has met all expectations. Not only did he help protect Alex Smith during some of his best years, and is now keeping young quarterback Patrick Mahomes clean during his breakout season, Schwartz also paved the way for Kareem Hunt to win last year’s NFL rushing title as a rookie.So far, the Chiefs have allowed just 10 sacks — one behind the New Orleans Saints for fewest in the league — while leading the NFL in scoring and a number of other offensive categories. Delving deeper into the numbers, the Chiefs have a league-high 13 carries of at least 10 yards while running behind Schwartz on the right side of the offensive line.In other words, the soft-spoken Schwartz is a big reason Mahomes leads the NFL in yards passing and Hunt is fourth in the league in yards rushing.“Those two tackles are really good players, Schwartz and (left tackle Eric) Fisher. They’re the best we’ve played since I’ve been here,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “They’ve blocked us one-on-one from time to time and they win a lot against us.”That may be the most incredible part of Schwartz’s success rate: It has come against some of the best pass rushers in the NFL, including Broncos linebackers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.Elsewhere in the AFC West, he has to deal with the Chargers’ Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa Duke Johnson Jersey 2019 , and until this past offseason, Raiders star Khalil Mack and his teammate Bruce Irvin.“I’ve been very blessed and fortunate to play and coach with a number of offensive linemen, and those guys never get the credit that they deserve,” Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said. “They get all the negative flack when they give up a sack or something, but those guys are the ultimate team players because they are going to do whatever it takes to win.”Even if it means playing through bumps and bruises to keep a consecutive snaps streak going.Schwartz acknowledged this week that it will be odd returning to Cleveland, where he learned from one of the best offensive tackles to ever play the game. He has good memories of playing with the Browns, even if they never won enough, and he’s looking forward to seeing some old friends.Once the game begins, though, Schwartz is worried only about helping Kansas City keep winning.“We just keep trusting. No one gets upset, starts screaming or any of that stuff,” Schwartz said. “We’re a pretty good offense, and if we go out there and do our jobs, it’s pretty hard to stop us.”NOTES: Strong safety Eric Berry (heel), C Mitch Morse (concussion) and LB Frank Zombo (hamstring) did not practice Thursday. LBs Justin Houston (hamstring) and Anthony Hitchens (ribs) were limited.100<button class="view-gallery">View Gallery</button> Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj Mehta Cleveland Browns:“Browns huddle in search for coach; Kitchens seen as favorite” (AP) - “It’s possible they’ve already found Cleveland’s ninth coach since 1999 or Dorsey and Co. could be waiting to speak with assistants on teams still in the playoffs.”“Josh McDaniels says he didn’t talk to Browns about their head coaching vacancy and will return to Patriots” (ABJ) - “New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels made it known Tuesday he’s staying put.”“Baker Mayfield has room to grow after historic rookie year” (ESPN) - “There are many ways to sum up the impact of Baker Mayfield’s rookie season with the Cleveland Browns. Perhaps the best comes in the words of a team captain and leader.”“The AFC North belongs to Baker and Lamar now” (WFNY) - “After midfield flag plants, gestures to opposing benches, and unfiltered responses during his time at Oklahoma, the NFL persona should be no surprise.”NFL:“Injuries: Cowboys WR Beasley (ankle) misses practice” (NFL.com) - “Cole Beasley’s status for the Dallas Cowboys’ Divisional Round clash with the Los Angeles Rams is up in the air. The wide receiver did not practice on Tuesday with an ankle injury.”“Cardinals hire Kliff Kingsbury as their next head coach on a four-year contract” (CBS) - “The next coaching domino has fallen, and it’s a big one that’ll have repercussions across both the NFL and college football.”“Bruce Arians getting the band back together, Bowles to be Bucs’ defensive coordinator” (PFT) - “Arians has already assembled the key members of his staff, Albert Breer reports, and one of those will be Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator.”“The Wade Phillips Experience” (MMQB) - “You’re forgiven if you don’t think of defense when you think about the Rams’ late-November win over the Chiefs. Fourteen touchdowns and 105 points were scored that night...”
 
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