CLEVELAND - New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III lived up to his promise to come to Cleveland Browns Stadium and greet fans Wednesday night.
The 58-year-old CEO of the Pilot Flying J Corporation surprised fans when he stopped by the rookie orientation for new season ticket holders in the club seats. Haslam also spoke to the media after being introduced as the new owner just last week.
“Unbelievable, I mean, unbelievable,” Haslam said of Cleveland fans. “I was telling some of my friends back home. They said ‘What were your two main impressions?’ I said, first of all, I’ve never seen football as much as this community does and second of all, we need to win.”
The Cleveland Browns took the field for practice in front of a family night-filled stadium at about 7 p.m.
“I don’t know anything about either circumstance, probably about like you. I got up here early this morning and I’ve been in meetings until we came to the stadium. Just mentioned Trent had a little knee issue,” Haslam said. “And I don’t know anything about Joe’s situation.”
“Football is a tough game and injuries are part of the game. Probably hurts a team like us, because we’re a little younger and a little less depth,” Haslam said. “We’re going to do it the right way. We’re not going to panic.”
When asked if the Browns can win, Haslam said he didn't know any more than the media.
“I think the Browns are headed in the right direction. But, they were four and 12 last year and they’ve had two really good drafts in a row. I think Tom (Heckert) and his team have done a really nice job, but, you know, we have a ways to go.”
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