Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam met with the media in advance of the 2021 NFL Draft.
To say that the pair is all smiles is an understatement.
There were a few major themes emerging as the Haslams answered questions for nearly 30 minutes.
The City Is Ready For The Draft
They talked with pride about how NFL’s showcase event is going to showcase the beauty of Cleveland.
“It is so much fun to wake up and watch ‘Good Morning Football’ (on NFL Network) and hear them nonstop talking about Cleveland,” Browns owner Dee Haslam said. https://t.co/1YnobDhoK7
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) April 28, 2021
The national exposure that will be on Cleveland for the draft is great for the city and the state of Ohio.
Each elaborated about how safe the draft will be; no COVID-19 protocols were overlooked.
The draft is a free event so it is family-friendly, and hopefully it can provide a much needed boost after the COVID-19 devastation and lockdowns.
The Draft Theatre in Cleveland is the largest stage structure the NFL Draft has ever assembled. pic.twitter.com/sDHZhX6Pcv
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) April 27, 2021
A side benefit of the draft is that it presented the opportunity to do some demolition of old warehouses and buildings which opens up and beautifies the lakefront area.
The long-term goal would be to connect downtown and the lakefront in a more user-friendly way for pedestrians and cars.
Both also said they hoped the city would get another chance to host the draft post-pandemic so that even more people could travel and be a part of the event in the future when it is safer to host it in such a way.
Everything Is Looking Positive For The Browns
Jimmy talked about the disappointment of losing to Kansas City.
While it is logical to believe the Browns can make it to the playoffs again, he mentioned it is no guarantee.
He mentioned a statistic (that Coach Stefanski shared with the team) of half of the playoff teams from one season not qualifying for the playoffs the following year.
Obviously, this is a pitfall the Browns do not want to fall into.
Browns Leadership Is Top Notch
1 year ago today Andrew Berry just completed his first draft as Cleveland Browns GM.
The team he assembled would eventually go on to win 11 games, make the playoffs (and win) for the first time in 18 years.
I can’t wait to see what he does this year 😎
— bri (@breezyCLE) April 25, 2021
Everybody knows that Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski are doing a great job.
The Haslams do not want to get into the weeds about contract and player decisions when asked about Baker Mayfield‘s extension and the potential first-round draft pick.
They wisely are letting those issues for Andrew Berry to work out; clearly, he has their full faith.
As for Kevin Stefanski, Dee Haslam described him as extremely organized and very smart.
They are thrilled for the continuity as only the offensive quality control coach left in the offseason.
An established coaching staff has not been a luxury for the Haslams or the Browns organization.
Fun In ’21
The Haslams look forward to fuller stadiums with loud cheering fans who have every reason to be excited about their team.
There will be 9 home games in FirstEnergy Stadium in 2021.
Jimmy was impressed with Baker Mayfield’s maturity as a quarterback and leader of the team.
He also hopes that training camp is in person but those plans are yet to be known.
Jimmy also tipped his hat to center JC Tretter, the NFLPA president, and is impressed with his leadership.
If the Haslams are smiling ear-to-ear in April, just imagine what they could be doing in December and January if the Browns play as well as many expect.