Aston Villa Chairman Randy Lerner looks on during the UEFA Europa League, Play off, first leg Qualifying match between Rapid Vienna and Aston Villa at the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium on August 19, 2010 in Vienna, Austria.
Photographer: (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
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Just like the fans, the Browns players found out about owner Randy Lerner's negotiations with Tennessee Billionaire Jimmy Haslam. Lerner is looking at selling the majority interest in the franchise.
The players talked about having a new boss on the horizon. Left tackle Joe Thomas, “I think everyone is pretty surprised. I don’t know if that was something anyone was really thinking about. The job doesn’t change for us, we have the same guys in the building. From an ownership standpoint it doesn’t really affect what goes on from a day to day standpoint in this building.”
Kicker Phil Dawson has been with the team since 1999, The last of the original new Browns has only played for the Lerner family. “Yeah, everybody always speculates. I read the stuff that’s out there, but I certainly didn’t expect to hear that today. With all due respect to the significance of the news, it really doesn’t change anything for us out here. Most guys have never even gone upstairs in this building. Our little world is out between these white lines and we’re going to continue to focus on that. There are a lot of good things taking place. It will obviously affect us in some way, but I can’t stand here now and tell you exactly how, but other than to say it’s not going to affect us as much as people might think. We just come out here, play football, try to do what our coaches say and we go home at night and go to bed. That’s pretty much how it goes.” Dawson said.
The teams leading tackler last season D'Qwell Jackson was surprised by the news. “I think we all were. Coach Shurmur addressed the team and we all have a job to do and that’s to win games around here. We can only control what we can and obviously, Randy Lerner felt it was in his best interest to start negotiating the team. He has run this business for a long time so you never know what he has going on, but the guys in the locker room, we have a job to do and that’s to win games. That’s going to continue to be the motto.”
Jackson also discussed on if this will be a distraction. “No, I think the coaches have it handled. After he addressed it earlier today, there hasn’t been any discussion about it. We are in camp right now and we’re dealing with the bumps and bruises and trying to revisit the system. We have a lot of rookies that will help and we will be caught up in what we are doing. It shouldn’t be a problem at all.”
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Browns defensive end Desmond Bryant has undergone a successful procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat.