Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson has seen a lot of change in his time with the Cleveland Browns.
From teammates and coaches to front office personnel, Jackson has continued to work through the situations and perform for the Browns on the field every Sunday. Even with Friday’s news of Mr. Jimmy Haslam’s “interest in an investment” with the Browns, Jackson’s approach to the 2012 season has not changed.
“We only can control what we can,” Jackson said. “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.
“I think the coaches have it handled. After (Coach Pat Shurmur) addressed it earlier today, there hasn’t been talk about it. We’re in camp right now. We’re dealing with the bumps and bruises and trying to revisit the system. We’ve got a lot of rookies that we’re helping and we’re going to be caught up in what we’re doing. It shouldn’t be a problem at all.”
According to Browns president Mike Holmgren, “one of the stipulations” of the negotiations is that the team remains “the Cleveland Browns.”
Although he was not yet a professional when the original Browns franchise left Cleveland for Baltimore and later became the Ravens, Jackson quickly learned what that move meant to the city.
“It was tough for the community,” Jackson said. “I’ve talked to a lot of fans over the years and they’re still hurt by it. They still don’t like Baltimore and I understand why. This is one of those issues you can’t control. We’re all professionals in this building. Just like anything else, management changes. I’ve been a part of management changes since I’ve been here. It’s just another step. I’ve been here, so I’m a guy that can give a younger guy advice on what they should expect. All I could tell them is, ‘Take it one day at a time, make the team, worry about what you can control, do the best you can and put your best film out there.”
Prior to Friday’s announcement, Shurmur welcomed the players back to Berea with a team meeting Thursday night.
Jackson said Shurmur reminded the players that “a lot of young guys” played on last year’s 4-12 team and that it was not good enough for the organization. He also recalled Shurmur reminding his charges that the foundation was created last year and that expectations are high for the team.
“Last year, we didn’t have an offseason; this season, we had OTAs (organized team activities), minicamp,” Jackson said. “We knew there weren’t going to be any coaching changes. We knew the system. It’s just a matter of coming out and revisiting things that we could correct from last year. For the most part, I think we played really solid defense last year and we’ve got the same core guys back with the exception of a few. We’re definitely going to be better. That’s what we’re aiming for.”