BEREA, Ohio — The new owner of the Cleveland Browns attended the team’s practice on Friday morning and several players admitted that their practice was a bit more crisp with the new boss, Jimmy Haslam III, in town.
“When Lerner was out here, it was the same thing,” said defensive back Joe Haden. “But you have to impress the boss. So I got my first pick finally. So I thought that was pretty good.”
“Yeah, I’m sure everybody noticed that the new owner was out here,” said offensive lineman Joe Thomas. “But it didn’t really effect what had to happen out here today. We had to get better, improve and get ready for Detroit.”
Haslam III and members of his family walked out on to the Browns practice facility around 9:04 a.m. Friday morning. They observed the team drills as they were being escorted by team President Mike Holmgren.
“Bringing his whole family, you can tell that they are a tight unit and that’s what you want,” said quarterback Brandon Weeden. “You can tell they are a close family and so are we, as a team, so they kind of go hand-in-hand.”
“It spoke volumes to me that he brought his wife and his dad out here,” said quarterback Colt McCoy. “You know they came in and watched practice and I was able to introduce myself to him and just say ‘Hello’. They seem like wonderful people and I think it is an exciting time.”
According to the longest tenured player on the Browns roster Phil Dawson, the new owner signifies more than just an exciting time.
“Definitely a new beginning and anytime you have that, there is a breath of fresh air and that kind of thing,” said Dawson. “But honestly guys are just out here this morning going to work trying to go through another training camp practice and we’ll kind of take it as it goes.”