Browns new owner Jimmy Haslam III took in Family Night at Cleveland Browns Stadium and spent quite a bit of time meeting and greeting some of the 17,238
fans announced in attendance.
He was very impressed with Browns fans.
“Unbelievable,” Haslam said. “You can’t help but be impressed with the fans. I feel very fortunate to be able to be here for fan appreciation night. This
allows me to come out and meet the fans.”
Haslam was signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans in the Gridiron Grille before practice began. He even went out of his way to shake the
hands and thank the security guards at the stadium. Haslam said he’s really felt the love since officially becoming the owner just last week.
“I told the guys back home how the fans (in Cleveland) really love football,” he said. “(His wife) Dee and I feel the responsibility (we have).”
After spending time with the fans, Haslam watched practice on the field with GM Tom Heckert.
Haslam said he doesn’t know how long the process will take to make the Browns a winner.
“I don’t know any more than you, but we’re heading in the right direction,” he said. “Hang in there and be patient.”
Haslam was asked what he’d say to Browns fans that are concerned about the injuries to Trent Richardson and the possible suspension of Joe Haden.
“That’s part of football,” he said. “Your’re going to have some bad breaks and some good breaks, but I’m confident in listening to everybody that we’ve got
a good young team that’s headed in the right direction.”
“I don’t know anything about Joe (Haden’s) situation.”
In other topics, Haslam said the NFL has given him “plenty of time” to divest himself of the Steelers ownership and that he hopes it is done by the end of
2012. He said it doesn’t have to happen before the league approves him as the owner. He also said he doesn’t know any more on how soon the league will vote
to approve him as owner.
“I plan on it taking place in October, but if it happens before that, it would be good,” he said.
He also said he had a sneak preview and tour of Cleveland Browns Stadium and “over a period of time we’re going to enhance the stadium to make it better
for the fans.”
CB Joe Haden would make no comment regarding the rumors that he failed a drug test and will be suspended for the first four games.
“It’s a league matter,” he said repeatedly after Family Night practice. He did say that he is the upstanding guy that everyone thinks he is.
Shurmur was asked about Haden.
“He was out here practicing and getting ready to play,” he said. “I don’t know any more than you guys and I couldn’t say anything if I did.”
More on Richardson:
Shurmur was asked after practice about RB Trent Richardson. He wouldn’t confirm that he would have arthroscopic surgery on his knee, but sounded as though
Dr. James Andrews will examine him and if a minor cleanup is necessary, it will be done Thursday.
“I don’t know how much he’ll miss,” Shurmur said. “We think he’ll be back quickly. We’re very hopeful he’ll be back fast.”
There have been numerous reports that Richardson will have a minor procedure and might be out as little as two weeks.
Shurmur did rule him out for Friday’s game and said that RB Montario Hardesty will start in his place. Shurmur didn’t rule him out for the preseason and
said details will be forthcoming after the examination on Thursday.
The Family Night practice was dominated by interceptions in the 11-on-11 to finish the practice. CB Buster Skrine and CB Dimitri Patterson intercepted QB
Brandon Weeden and QB Colt McCoy was intercepted by DB Antwuan Reed on a ball he took away from WR Rod Windsor. DB Ray Ventrone intercepted QB Seneca Wallace and QB Thaddeus Lewis.
LB D’Qwell Jackson sat out practice as did DB Usama Young (hamstring), TE Ben Watson (undisclosed), DL Phil Taylor (pectoral), DE Marcus Benard
(undisclosed), RB Trent Richardson (knee) and FB Eddie Williams (undisclosed).