BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns rookie defensive back
Whether it was growing up with a father who spent nearly a decade in professional baseball, being coached by a former NFL MVP at San Diego State University, or asking questions of fourth-year Browns cornerback
And McFadden is using that knowledge to help him compete for a starting spot in the Browns’ secondary.
“It’s all part of the game of football,” McFadden said. “Competing is the biggest thing. We’re all out there competing for that No. 1 spot, and it’s all out of love. We all love this game. This is what we want to do. I expect myself to go out there every day and give it my all, show what I can do, what skills I have.”
“His whole thing was teaching me,” McFadden said. “At this point in life, coming out of college and transitioning from being a collegiate athlete to being a pro and carrying yourself as pro, you’re no longer a collegiate athlete. That was the biggest thing that he taught me.
“Growing up, he would always teach me the work you put in when nobody’s watching will benefit you in the end. I took that and I really listened to him. He really had great words of motivation for me.”
McFadden’s quest for knowledge continued when he went to San Diego State, where he was supposed to compete for playing time at wide receiver before switching over to cornerback to fill a team need.
It was at cornerback that McFadden earned first-team All-Mountain West Conference accolades three times.
“That program definitely helped me get to the next level,” McFadden said. “It really harped on the way you finish, and that was a big part of the whole program. How you finished and the work you did put in will pay out in the end. With that, I took that and intertwined it with my everyday life for everything that I do, as well as everything my dad taught me as well.”
During his time at San Diego State, McFadden had the added benefit of learning from a former NFL MVP, former Browns quarterback Brian Sipe. Sipe is the Aztecs’ quarterbacks coach, and embraced the opportunity to welcome McFadden to the community of current and former Browns.
“When I first got there as a receiver, he told me, ‘When you’re coming into college, you’re out here competing for a spot. Nobody’s guaranteed a spot,’” McFadden recalled. “That was one of the things about being a competitor that he told me.
“Getting drafted here to Cleveland, he was so excited. He left me a voicemail, and I could tell by his voice that he was so excited I was coming to Cleveland and playing here. He sat down and talked to me about the ‘Dawg Pound,’ about everything about the fan base. I was really excited and fired up to see and be a part of it.”