Happy Wednesday, guys! In case you haven’t seen the picture from Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s introductory press conference Monday afternoon, well, that’s the reason I put it as the featured image. It still doesn’t seem real, honestly. Who would have ever thought two years ago that a non-photoshopped picture would ever feature Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, and Odell Beckham Jr. all in Browns gear? Add in Myles Garrett1 and it’s even better.
Another press conference, another dominant performance by the Browns. With how the 2018 season ended, along with the additions that have already happened this offseason, things continue to look up for the orange and brown. With how new head coach Freddie Kitchens and the players have handled the media, especially during each press conference, the combination of it all continues to get the Dawg Pound more and more excited for fall.
Let’s talk about the press conference:
Whether it’s how he portrays himself as a head coach both on and off the field, his “gets us” moments, or just genuinely seeming to be a good dude, Kitchens seems to have already captured the hearts of many Browns fans. He performed well as the interim offensive coordinator in the latter half of next season, proving that he could be a head coach along the way. He has done just that and now has the keys to the entire franchise.
While being a head coach will be quite a big task and new role for Kitchens, if his demeanor and words he has used throughout the offseason tell us anything, it’s that he’s ready and capable of being the main voice on the team, at least as a coach.
“No, it did not. One thing that you have to realize – I think we have put together a lot of guys like this – is that this is our team, and I truly believe that. It is our team. I am just kind of a front man because if those guys in the locker room do not hold each other accountable, if our coaches do not hold their positions groups accountable and the players amongst themselves do not hold each other accountable, we are not going to have anything anyway. At the core of everything, it is what our team is. It is what our offense is. It is what our defense is. I truly believe the letter ‘I’ is a dangerous proposition when you start using it in terms of describing yourself in a team setting. We do not do that here. It is always ‘we, us, our.’ That is what it is now, and that is what it became when I got hired. We were not hiring anybody that did not have that same kind of outlook on things. We want to create that environment for our players. Whenever we do that, we will have something. Right now, we are just a bunch of good individual players. Yeah, our roster looks great on paper – whoopty-hell, alright?2 – but at the end of the day, we better be a good team. You start building that during this time of the year, and training camp is a big portion of that.”
Who wouldn’t want to play for this man? Hell, I’m ready to run through a wall for him.
As a kid, plenty of young athletes dream of being able to play the game they love for a living and to make millions doing it. Those same dreams sometimes even include playing at the professional level with your best friend(s). For OBJ and Landry, those dreams have now become a reality.
“Of course. If I wanted to be anywhere else [other than with the New York Giants], it would be playing alongside of my brother,” Beckham said. “Like I said, since the day we met, we talked about, ‘Hey, I am going to the same school as you. Where we going?’ He had different offers. I did not have all of the same offers that he had, but it was like, ‘Where are you going? I am going there.’ I tell him all of the time, he made me who I am today. He has taken me to the level of this greatness, this legendary stuff that we talked about. It is because of him. There is no better place for me to be but here.”
“I did not know for sure if it was possible. I was hoping in the back of my mind that obviously it would be possible,” Landry said. “I guess a couple of weeks ago the ball kind of got rolling on it. I kind of got the phone call maybe a little bit before everybody that the trade had went through. I cried. I called him. I talked to (General Manager) John (Dorsey). I cried with John (laughter). I cried with Freddie. I know for me, it is something that not only as a player but as a person that he is somebody that my life needs. It is more than an honor to take the field with him again.”
When the two were teammates at LSU, they knew that eventually, if possible, they wanted to be on the same team in the NFL. Although it took quite a few years in order to do so, that dream is actually happening and will become even more real when both are donning the brown and orange this upcoming season (and beyond).
“I feel like we spoke this into existence almost. [Landry] and I dreamed of this,” Beckham said. “This is something that we talked about at 17. ‘I am going to live right down the street from you. We are going to be on the same team.’ Everything. It is surreal.”
Nike’s new commercial sums it up perfectly.
Whether it’s his cockiness, how vocal he is, or just his ability to lead both on and off the field, you can already tell that Mayfield will be one of the team’s most vocal leaders this fall (and beyond). It’s crazy that he’s only entering his second year as a quarterback in the NFL.
The gunslinger continued to lead by example during Monday’s press conference, including interrupting a reporter and essentially answering a question that was asked when someone asked OBJ about being a “me-first” player. There’s just something about him not only have funny answers at times but having the right answers almost all of the time, too.
His enthusiasm and passion is something else, you guys. He gets it.
If anyone knows what it’s like to be successful as a professional athlete in The Land, it’s LeBron James. I mean, he did in fact help end the 52-year drought when he helped lead the Cavaliers to a championship on June 19, 2016.3
OBJ wants to bring a championship to Cleveland just like LeBron, his idol, did just three years ago.
“Oh, yeah. I asked him if I could borrow his house, and he said it was too big for me (laughter). I am just trying to get my bearings straight and see what is what,” Beckham said. “This is his home. He will give you a little bit of advice here and there. He said, ‘You are going to love it.’ That is like my idol and the person I look up to the most. That is my guy. To see what he did to bring a championship here. I just want to be able to do that same thing.”
There’s plenty more we can talk about but I’ll let you watch for yourself if you’d like. Below are both the pressers. I suggest watching them if you haven’t already. I promise you’ll be ready for the upcoming football season by the end of the press conference.
Hope you have a good Wednesday and a great rest of the week!