Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam attended a banquet in Westlake, OH tonight and held a mini-news conference for the local media after he was done speaking to the crowd. The Akron Beacon Journal posted two videos of Haslam's conference. In the first one, he apologizes to the city of Cleveland and Browns fans, and then goes on to talk about how Pilot Flying J is handling the situation.
In the second video, which is embedded below, Haslam talks about his observations during draft weekend, the underrated acquisition of wide receiver Davone Bess, getting ready for the Browns' rookie minicamp this weekend, and more. Below the video, I transcribed what Haslam said about the team.
(Being in the Browns' Draft Room) "I had the privilege of sitting in the draft room Thursday night, Friday night and all day Saturday. There's periods where it's really boring but there are periods where it's really interesting. I had the opportunity to watch Ray [Farmer], Mike [Lombardi], Joe [Banner], and Rob [Chudzinski] interact, and I know there's been some comments that maybe it's not great teamwork but I've never seen four people work together in a positive manner better than those guys did. And it wasn't all agreement, there was a lot of disagreement, a lot of conversation going back-and-forth."
(Underrated Acquisition of WR Davone Bess) "I'm very excited about the draft we had. I think people forget we got Davone Bess, who I think is a hell of a player and the kind of player that makes a big difference; he's the kind of guy who knows how to get first downs on third down and was a teammate of Chad Pennington. You know Chad is from Knoxville and a good friend of ours, and Chad relayed to me through a good friend of his that Davone was one of the best teammates he's ever had. I'm very excited about the guys we picked up."
(Returning for Browns Rookie Minicamp) "I'm going home tonight. I'll be out calling on trucking companies for the next couple days, then I'll be back up here for practice. We'll have everybody here Friday afternoon, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday. I'm real excited about our schedule as I remarked in there. I think we have a great home schedule -- we're opening up with the Dolphins at home and having a Thursday night national TV game which I don't think we've had since 2008 or 2009. It will be great for our fans."
(Players Are Already Amped Up) "I think we'll have a better football team this year. As I've said on several occasions, we're going to do this the right way. It's not going to happen overnight. You don't go from winning 14 games in three years to winning 14 games in one year. But we'll have a better team this year and we'll be better in 2014. I think Joe articulated very well after the draft -- we stand very accountable for what happens this year, we're not at all throwing this year away. I think it's very important that we have a good team. We've put together a really coaching staff. The intensity in the building, several players have remarked to me that the intensity in the building and in the weight-room and on the practice field is definitely amped up and I think that will result in a better football team."
(Goodbye) "I appreciate everybody coming tonight, and I'll be up here this weekend to watch practice. I'm looking forward to it."
Before I go, I wanted to put out this little nugget that FOX Sports Ohio's Zac Jackson posted:
"I went to practice the other day," Haslam said, when addressing the crowd. "and we're not throwing 3-yard dinks." Decide for yourself whether that was a shot at ex-head coach Pat Shurmur or not.