If my midseason review piece on the Cleveland Browns was part one of an optimistic take to get you through the rest of the season, then Jenny Vrentas' column on the MMQB most definitely felt like part two.
Vrentas highlights many of the same things that we did, but with quotes from the likes of head coach Hue Jackson, Executive VP of Football Operations Sashi Brown, and left tackle Joe Thomas. Here are the highlights:
- Every week, Jim Haslam, the father of Jimmy Haslam, sends reassuring text messages to the Browns head coach, telling him to “hang in there” through tough times and that “there are better days ahead.” Jackson says that they really help during dark times, because he opens his phone and looks through them as reassurance.
- Jimmy Haslam meets with Hue Jackson three to four times per week:
“When you can sit down with people, and they get your fear, they get your doubt, they get your hurt, your feelings, I think it says a lot,” Jackson says. “Those are the kind of people I work with every day.”
- Speaking on how monumental the team’s rebuild is, Joe Thomas said, “I have never seen anything even close to this. It is probably one of the most extreme rebuilds in NFL history.”
- In response to Jason La Canfora’s negative report on the Browns last week, specifically about the tension in Berea, Sashi Brown said, “I hope there would be a tension, just from losing.”
- Hue Jackson says that he’s never felt this way (with respect to all the losing), but that his confidence hasn’t left him, as he leaves opposing players and coaches with this message after games: “You better get me now. Because this organization is coming back. I promise you that.”
Vrentas also beats the drum about the team needing to re-sign WR Terrelle Pryor and LB Jamie Collins, and that they should also consider making a push to trade for Patriots QB Jimmy Garrapolo. While that stuff didn’t come from team sources per se, when a national reporter/columnist mentions it after having access for a story in Berea, one does have to wonder a bit...