The newest Browns defensive back played his college football at San Diego State University, where former Cleveland quarterback and 1980 NFL MVP Brian Sipe coaches the Aztecs’ quarterbacks.
“Brian Sipe left me a voicemail last night,” McFadden said in a Saturday afternoon press conference. “He was pumped up. You could tell by the tone of his voice on the phone. He’s very happy for me. We talked about a lot of tradition back in San Diego State, and he would always give those speeches about tradition.
“I know that the team has a great fan base. I know that since ’99, it’s been kind of tough, but the fans have stuck by their side. I keep hearing about this Dawg Pound, and that’s something I want to be a part of. I’m looking forward to that, and I’m just excited to be here.”
Although he played on the other side of the ball than what Sipe coached, McFadden made it a point to talk with the former NFL signal-caller.
“I would stop by his office every time I would go upstairs to the coaches’ office,” McFadden said. “We would just talk a little bit about football. We’d talk a little bit about the Browns through this process, but I had no idea I’d be coming here. When my name got called yesterday, I know he was jumping for joy, ‘Another Aztec with the Browns.’”
When it comes to football, McFadden is good at embracing tradition. Earlier this year, he took part in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and took it as a personal mission to represent the Mountain West Conference.
“I definitely took full advantage of that,” McFadden said. “Going down to the Senior Bowl, I just wanted to prove that the Mountain West Conference is in the shadows of the bigger conferences and showing that there are players in the Mountain West. That was my task, and I accomplished it.
“It’s definitely good prep work. In that conference, they want to throw the ball a lot. You don’t run into teams that are just running the ball, pound-for-pound. Only the academies we’d play would do that. I think it’s prepared me a lot for teams that like to throw the ball.”