CLEVELAND-The Cleveland Browns rookies got a warm welcome from 200 kids Friday morning at their new home, FirstEnergy Stadium.
“Looking around for the first time just gives you those goosebumps and gets you ready to get out here come season; it is so awesome,” said Browns offensive lineman Austin Corbett.
The rookies, including Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward, were serving as mentors at the team’s annual Youth Football Camp. They were sharing their skills and expertise with the young campers.
“This is a passion of mine -- to actually be out here and in the community and playing with kids, because I used to be one of those kids that looked up to NFL players, wanted to meet everybody and get their autographs,” Ward said.
The Browns Give Back campaign is centered around education and youth football. The goal is to assist the development, safety and growth of the sport throughout northeast Ohio.
“There is a wonderful, wonderful football culture in Cleveland, Ohio, Northeast Ohio and that’s what you’re seeing; the energy is starting already,” said USA Youth Football Ambassador Chuck Kyle.
The campers got a chance to ask the rookies some questions about football and to share the same field as them, even if it’s for just a day.
“The priority for football is have fun, first of all, number one and then teach them good techniques, which they are learning this week and that keeps the game safer," said Kyle.
It’s been a whirlwind few months for the Browns rookies who are still learning what it takes to play in the NFL while adapting to a whole new team and a whole new city.
“It’s a dream to be able to come out here and do stuff like this, be able to play for an organization like the Browns and it’s always been a dream to play in the NFL and to step out here. It’s beautiful stadium, beautiful view from the outside looking at the lake," said wide receiver Damion Ratle.
It won’t be long before they learn what it’s like to play in front of the Dawg Pound during the season.