The Cleveland Browns Training Camp officially opened on July 26, 2014 as a capacity crowd gathered to watch the first open practices. Following the practice sessions, various players and members of the coaching and personnel staff were interviewed. What follows are some of their comments.
DB Joe Haden on what is going to make this defense better than it was last year:
“I think that it’s the talent. We added some additional talent and at the end of the day I think we just have to work on our finish. That’s the only thing to me. We have the players, we just have to be able to work at just staying competitive and keeping our edge through the whole game and not letting it slide when we have the lead or just being able to make big plays at the end of the game. We have the skills, we just have to be able to execute.”
DB Joe Haden on why he’s more optimistic about this training camp than he has been in previous years:
“Everybody is just happy about the talent on the team, the new coaching staff and what they bring and at the same time the quarterback position just being able to have competition between (Brian) Hoyer and (Johnny) Manziel, having two solid quarterbacks competing for the job and then just having a lot of talent plus a lot players ready to work.”
QB Johnny Manziel on what kind of greeting he has gotten from the fans:
“The fans have been incredible. From the day that I got drafted in New York, they’ve been incredible. Up until now, the buzz in this city about sports in general, not just about football, but you look at basketball now, the Indians are playing well, but especially for the Browns, this state, this town has been great for us. It’s been great to me personally.”
QB Johnny Manziel on how much different practice is with fans attending:
“It’s definitely different for me having practices open to the fans and stuff, but they’re cheering throughout the entire day. I really did enjoy it. I think it’s great for our fans to get a chance to see up close and personal that we’re working extremely hard to try and change things around here and we’re trying to be successful. Hopefully, we’ll continue to bring this buzz and excitement to the city.”
QB Johnny Manziel on what it’s like seeing his No. 2 jerseys in the stands at practice:
“Personally, I’ve had an incredible fan base that’s followed me and has really come out of the woodwork here in Cleveland for me…it’s truly incredible. I’m truly thankful to have those guys, but more than anything, it’s not just my number or my name on the back, It’s Cleveland, it’s the Browns. It’s awesome to have the fan base that we have for this team, not just me. It’s a great turnout today, and I’m sure that won’t stop anytime soon.”
Head Coach Mike Pettine on the fans at training camp:
“It was great to walk out the door and feel the energy. We’ve said it all along—that we have the best fans in the league…they’re passionate, they’re loyal, they love football and they’re knowledgeable. That was evident here today.”
Head Coach Mike Pettine on QB Johnny Manziel’s attitude:
“It’s been great. From the day he walked in here, he’s been extremely coachable. It’s been great to meet him. He asks the right questions. He’s been fine.”
Head Coach Mike Pettine on his assessment so far:
“I’m pleased. I think it’s a good group. We talk about the ‘play like a Brown’ attributed. I thought (general manager) Ray Farmer and the personnel department really took that to heart in putting this roster together. We may be moving on from some guys that potentially can still can play in the NFL but may not be a good fit for us. The more guys that you can get that are passionate, that are competitive, and that are tough, the better off you’re going to be. That’s how we want to build a team, and that’s why I’m pleased with where the roster is right now.”
General Manager Ray Farmer on what he has seen from Manziel in the first two practices:
“I’ve seen a young man that came back that appears to be prepared for a competition. I think that’s what we want are guys that took the time to come back and demonstrate that they’re ready to compete to be starters in this league. I think everybody here wants to play. Anytime you’re on a football team you want to play. You want to play as much as you can. We’ll see that while he’s in the building he’s putting forth the work to try to be the starter.”
General Manager Ray Farmer on how far he thinks the Browns have progressed since the spring and how far he thinks the team has progressed from when he took over as general manager:
“Again, my job, my role here is to try to improve the talent on this football team. I think we did that, to what degree I’ll let you guys judge. I think I’m always looking to get better. The movie is never over. Every day we come out here and every day we sit in there with the scouts looking to improve our roster. We’re just looking to drive the roster. We we’re talking on the field today about guys that we’ve seen on the wire, guys that we’ve seen come through, what our interest of them may or may not be and how can we continue to get better.”
General Manager Ray Farmer on how training camp is going for him:
I’m good. It’s been good. ‘Pett’ and I meet routinely. We’re enjoying the journey together, and I think that’s what it’s about. Our organization is moving in a direction where we’re excited about what the future can hold. We realize it’s a process, and we’re just going to work, have fun in the moment and enjoy it.
For those interested in seeing the Cleveland Browns in practice, you must have a ticket in order to get into the training fields. The tickets are free but are being snatched up in a hurry. As of this writing there are only three open days with tickets left. They are Wednesday, August 6, 2014, Tuesday, August 12, 2014 and Wednesday, August 13, 2014. To sign up for training camp tickets, go to: http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/schedule-and-events/BrownsCamp14.html and click on “Get Your Tickets” and follow the registration instructions…but hurry!