Browns Saturday: Jimmy Haslam transcript

Browns Saturday: Jimmy Haslam transcript

On the fans and energy on the first day of training camp:

"It's amazing, and it's exciting. We've said all along, these are tremendous fans and we need to put a better team on the field for them. I think we'll do it. Today was a really exciting day, and I think we've got the same kind of crowds coming tomorrow and Monday and understand we've got 25-30,000 people coming to Akron for next Saturday, so truly exciting. It's really exciting for our coaches and players."

On Browns QB Johnny Manziel's actions in the offseason:

"I think Johnny said it well, he made some rookie mistakes. I think the really great athletes make their news on the field not off the field. Hopefully, Johnny can look at guys like (Cavaliers F) LeBron (James) and (Patriots QB Tom) Brady and (Broncos QB) Peyton (Manning) and (Yankees SS Derek) Jeter and pattern himself after those guys who make their news on the field not off the field."

On if his message has sunk in with Manziel:

"We'll see."

On choosing the starting quarterbacks:

"The coaches will decide that. They'll do a great job with that."

On how the coaches feel about the quarterback situation:

"They feel good about our quarterback situation. I think we'll have a great competition."

On Manziel's offseason:

"I don't want to wear this subject out. Johnny said it himself. He made some mistakes. We expect better from him. I'm sure he'll perform now. We're anxious to see what he can do on the field, which is what really counts."

On if he felt the need to talk to Manziel about his actions:

"I think we're all on the same page with Johnny."

On how Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine is doing:

"One of our guys came in now and said, 'Mike looks like he's been doing that for years.' I think he's exactly what we need. I think he's going to be a really good head coach. I'm excited about the group we put together with Mike and (Browns General Manager) Ray (Farmer). They're working extremely well together. They're both smart. They work hard."

On if he thought Pettine could be the face of the franchise during the interview process:

"As you know, as you all reminded us on numerous times, this was a rather protracted process. We spent three lengthy sessions with Mike and each session we felt better, and what he showed in the interviews is what he showed in the spring and he's showing out here and I'll think he'll show it here in Cleveland in years to come."

On Pilot Flying J's current situation:

"This happened on April 15th last year. We said on April 16th that clearly it looks like some people had made some mistakes in our company, and it cost all of us dearly. I think we also said we would, No. 1, cooperate with the government, which we've done and will continue to do; No. 2, put systems and processes in place where something like this could never happen again, we've done that; and No. 3, make things right with our customers and we've done that. We're glad to get this chapter behind us and move on."

On if he has gotten any assurances from the government that he won't be indicted:

"I've said all along we're not going to comment on any personal situations. I think one quote on the PFJ situation today and the overall business is fine. I think today needs to be about the Browns."

On what makes Browns QB Brian Hoyer easy to talk to:

"Brian's been around. He's a veteran. We've known him well. He handles himself extremely well. We we're actually talking about his weight, which a lot of guys you want their weight to be lower. With Brian's, you want it to be higher, and his had come in higher than we expected, which is a good thing, and we we're laughing about that."

On if Hoyer is an easy guy to root for:

"Yeah, absolutely. Is there a better story? First of all, he's a hometown kid. He's coming off an injury. We all want him to do well. He's a quality guy and a class act, so we all want Brian to play well. We want Johnny to play well, and we want (Browns QBs) Tyler (Thigpen) and Connor (Shaw) to play well. It's an important position."

On WR Josh Gordon's situation:

"As you all know, the league prohibits us from commenting on these situations. I'll say this: first and foremost, we care about our players. We want our players to take care of themselves and make good decisions. We're going to do everything we can to support him. At the same time, the players have to understand they're accountable to themselves, to their teammates, to the front office and to our fans. People have to understand that, and I'll leave it at that."

On if he looks forward to the day when he is only asked football questions by the media:

"Of course."

On if releasing Gordon is an option:


On what he's learned about Head Coach Mike Pettine:

"You all have observed him and you've all been around this business a long time, a lot longer than I have. I think he's smart like we thought. He's tough. He's articulate. I don't think he gets rattled easily. He's tough. I think the players relate well to him, and I think we have a good environment here. We're really excited about Mike. He's a quality guy."

On his expectations for this team:

"It's same as we said last year, that we improve. Everybody wants it coursed. If I were you I'd ask the same questions. I ask our guys the same questions all the time. What's that look like in wins and losses? I said this last year – we'll know at the end of the year if we've improved or not. Expectations are high here that we'll improve, but to put wins and losses on it I think is unfair. This is a long process. This is a team that has not been very good for a long time. Despite what a lot of people think, we're actually patient. We think we have the right group in place, and we're going to get better over a period of time. I think we'll have a better football team this year, and we're all going to be disappointed if we don't."

On the Seattle Seahawks model:

"That's really a (GM) Ray (Farmer) and (Head Coach Mike) Pettine decision. They know so much more about football than I do. I think you all talked to Pettine yesterday. I don't know when you're talking to Ray. I'll let Ray answer that because Ray is really putting the team together and I think he's doing a nice job."

On people being impatient waiting for the wins:

"Like I said, it's all about getting better. I'll be honest, if we were 12-4 last year, we'd still be all about getting better. Hopefully, we'll play better football this year. I think Ray and Pettine did a nice job in the offseason with free agency and then the draft. We probably need another year or two like that to really have the kind of roster we need, but in my terminology, we're directionally correct."

On having someone assigned to QB Johnny Manziel to work with him as a mentor to help him mature:

"We put tremendous emphasis on working with our players both on and off the field."