The greatest Cleveland Brown has returned home.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam introduced Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown as the team’s Special Advisor at FirstEnergy Stadium on Wednesday, calling it a “very special day” for the organization.
“I’m very happy to be back,” Brown said. “I have a great respect for this city. I have a great respect for the way the fans have treated me. I have been through many ups and downs here, but the fans have always come to my support. I just want to say, emphatically, I like the new ownership; I respect the new ownership; I will stand by the new ownership, come hell or high water, and I will be doing everything in my power to help the Cleveland Browns be successful.
“I’m going to spend a lot of time (here). I’m going to hopefully meet with the coach (Rob Chudzinski) and meeting with him will give me a good idea of where he feels I can be most effective in assisting where he’s coming from. If there’s any chores that Jimmy wants me involved in on his level, I’m going to be very happy to do that. I’m going to be here quite a bit, and I will be on call to the Cleveland Browns first. My activities will take a secondary position to the needs of the Cleveland Browns.”
In addition to Brown’s contributions on the football side of the organization, Haslam and his wife, Dee, envision the Hall of Famer and his wife, Monique, taking an active role in the community.
“He’s not only the most famous Cleveland Brown of all time, but also the best player who has ever played here,” Haslam said. “One of the reasons the Browns remained so popular, when a lot of us were growing up, we followed 32, and 32 was their hero. To have 32 back on our team and working with us and being a part of not just the Cleveland Browns, but the Cleveland community is tremendously important, and I think it goes a long way toward what we’re trying to accomplish here in Cleveland with the Browns.
“Dee and I were immediately impressed by what sincere people they were and how interested they are not just in the Browns, but in the Cleveland community. Jim’s work with Reggie (Rucker) in the inner-city is well-documented, not only here in Cleveland, but across the country. We spent a lot of time, one night at the owners’ meetings in Phoenix, and over that period of time, it evolved that Jim would come back into the Browns family, something that we’re very excited about. It’s really my pleasure to introduce and welcome back into the Cleveland Browns family the greatest Brown of all, and that’s Jim Brown.”
Brown was an Executive Advisor for the club until 2010, and was excited to return to the organization to work with Haslam and the players.
“I’m here to help the Cleveland Browns win games, and to do that, if I can have any positive effect on the players in conjunction with the coach’s philosophy, then, you’ll see that on the field,” Brown said. “You’ll see a certain attitude that maybe you haven’t seen before. On the other hand, players shouldn’t be going bankrupt. You must understand their needs. When you marry that, that’s when you have success all around.”