Berea has turned into bizarro land. You have: Some local reporter saying that NT Phil Taylor should be released, figures like NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stealing the thunder at a practice session, Peter King thinking the Browns are in trouble at quarterback after seeing just one practice session, and passionate Michael Lombardi defender Jim Nantz attending practice.
The thing that topped everything, though, was former team president Mike Holmgren showing up to the facility, unannounced and unexpected, even by the Browns organization.
Former #Browns President Mike Holmgren on field watching practice. Not a joke. Serious.— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) August 2, 2013
So strange seeing Holmgren at #Browns practice today. Kinda awkward and very unexpected. .— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) August 2, 2013
Seriously, what do you if you are working for the Browns in Berea and you suddenly see Holmgren waltz in? On one hand, you have to be thinking, "...yes, how can we help you?" On the other hand, if you do anything to turn the guy away, it would come off as a major dick move by the organization. So, what was he doing there? There were some creative theories floating around on Twitter.
I'm assuming Mike Holmgren returned to Berea today to pick up a few more stolen paychecks.— Tony Mazur (@TonyMazur) August 2, 2013
Holmgren told reporters that he was in the area, getting ready for the Hall of Fame festivities this weekend, and happened to be driving by the facility. He said he didn't realize practice would be going on as he came by, and that his intention was to just "pop in and pop out." I imagine that is the story Holmgren cooked up in his head ahead of time, but I'd venture to guess that his visit was planned. What would have been really interesting is if Jim Brown was on the practice field as Holmgren suddenly strutted out. We weren't fortunate enough to have witnessed such an event.
Holmgren did chat with another running back affiliated with the Browns: Trent Richardson, who was idle at practice Friday with a shin injury.
Besides Richardson, Holmgren reportedly talked to owner Jimmy Haslam, general manager Mike Lombardi, and perhaps head coach Rob Chudzinski during his 25-minute stay on the field. Ironically, as Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland pointed out, exactly one year ago today, the Browns were officially sold by Randy Lerner, and Richardson also sad out of practice. Bizarro land indeed.