AKRON, Ohio -- Since becoming the Browns' offensive coordinator four months ago, Norv Turner has felt an instant connection with Cleveland fans.
“The greeting I’ve gotten in Cleveland has been outstanding,” Turner said during the keynote address at the 34th annual Akron Browns Backers Banquet at Tangier Restaurant Monday. “People are talking about the Browns, and it’s easy, it’s really easy and comes across loud and clear that the people in this community, and I’ve been a lot of places, truly, truly care about what’s happening with the Cleveland Browns and want to win.
“That means a lot to the players; that means a lot to the coaches when there are people that really care. I found out right away. We were working late and we stopped at a little bar restaurant to get something to eat and have a beer. A guy came over to me and said, ‘Coach, it’s great to meet you. If you get us a winner, you’ll never have to buy a drink again in your life.’”
Turner has coached with the Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers. Turner has two Super Bowl championship rings from his days with the Cowboys, and in 14 years as a head coach, has won 114 regular-season games.
Joining the Browns’ coaching staff was a way for Turner to stay involved with the game he loves.
“This has been really awesome for me because I’m a football fan,” Turner said. “I grew up loving football, playing football. We did our physicals the other day, and on the form, it says, ‘How long have you been involved in football?’ I had to go back. I just turned 61, and it’s over 50 years.”
In addition to Turner, current Cleveland linebackers D’Qwell Jackson and
Scott was honored for his induction into the Cleveland Browns Legends club last year. In presenting Scott, Rutigliano talked about the former safety's character.
“Talent is God-given; character is a choice,” Rutigliano said. “Character’s a positive thing. It’s not a fear of vice, but the love of excellence. We mass-produce everything in this country, but you can’t mass-produce character because it’s a matter of personal identity. I just want to say to Clarence what a privilege it was for me to be his coach while he was here.”
Scott added, “To play 13 years as a Brown and never have on another uniform -- I don’t know what it feels like to wear another uniform -- that’s special. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. God doesn’t make mistakes, and certainly, this was not a mistake. I’m in the right place at the right time to enjoy life. I have had a great love for this organization for a long time, long before you knew me, so I’m on Cloud Nine. This is still a special group. For (God) to have made me a Cleveland Brown is special in my mind, in my heart, no question about it.”
Robinson, who has since made Akron his home, was recognized for being a part of the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of Enshrinees, who will be inducted this August.
“I did love to play against the Browns,” Robinson said. “I only liked to play against the people that hit the hardest. It’s no fun playing against a bunch of guys who are namby-pamby. If you could beat the Cleveland Browns, you could say you beat a real football team.”