Greco: Browns 'ripe for push to win'

Posted Jul 23, 2013

BEREA, Ohio -- Shortly after signing a five-year contract extension, Cleveland Browns offensive lineman John Greco spoke on the team’s desire to win.

BEREA, Ohio -- Offensive lineman John Greco returned home to Northeast Ohio when he was acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Rams prior to the 2011 regular season, and the Youngstown native will call Cleveland home for the next five years after signing a contract extension with the team on Monday.

Greco, who played at the same high school (Boardman) as Browns Legend Bernie Kosar, said he was not expecting the call he received a few nights before the deal was finalized.

“It’s a little bit of a relief that it’s done,” Greco said. “I’m thrilled. I’m happy that the Browns have value in me, and I’m excited to play for a team that’s ready to get some wins.

“I’m happy about it. I know my family and friends are excited. I had it in the back of my mind. I can tell that this team and this city is ready for an exciting year, and I’m just happy I get to be a part of it.”

Now that the business side of football is taken care of, Greco will focus his efforts on competing with Pinkston and Shawn Lauvao for one of the starting offensive guard spots.

“It’s huge,” Greco said. “This time of the year is tough for anyone involved in football, and I’m going to do everything I can to stay healthy, compete and make everyone around me better. That’s only going to benefit the team in the end.

“Whatever happened in the past is over. I tried to make the best out of my opportunity last year, and going into camp, that’s my mindset, that I’m going to be one of the guys. I can only do everything I can and know that I’ve done everything I can to be out there and try to help the team win.”

Having spent the last two years in Cleveland and the previous three with the Rams, where his teams won just 10 games in those three seasons, Greco has a different feeling about the Browns.

“The feel in the locker room is as such, and I’ve been around a lot of losing seasons, I’m tired of it,” Greco said. “It gets to the point where you’re ready to enjoy and win games. We got a taste of that last season a couple times, and it’s a completely different feel.

“The leaders in the locker room and the guys that have been on winning teams that have tried to bring that winning mindset to Cleveland, and even some of the younger players that are now maturing, and they’re making some plays and know how to conduct themselves on the field and off the field, you can tell that it’s ripe for a push to win some games. I think that’s the attitude and the mindset going into camp.”

Last season, Greco started 10 games in place of Jason Pinkston after the second-year lineman suffered from blood clots. In doing so, Greco played in-between six-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas and center Alex Mack, something he said made his job a lot easier.

“It’s a talented front,” Greco said. “We’re coached well. I think we have a good chemistry, and when I talk to people outside our locker room, I say we have one of the smartest groups in the league. We have leaders in our room that lead by example and words, and the younger guys try to emulate that. I think you’re going to see good things from us.”

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