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Training Camp

6 things to know from Dee and Jimmy Haslam's training camp media session

Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam held what's become an annual, early training camp media session with reporters Saturday.

Here were the six biggest takeaways from a wide-ranging press conference.

-- The Haslams have felt the optimism radiating from the team's reshaped roster but were measured Saturday when it came to prognosticating what to expect in 2018.

"We are excited to see their excitement and their optimism," Jimmy Haslam said, "but a long way to go and a lot of work to do."

Both of the owners expressed gratitude to a fan base that has endured a lot during one of the toughest stretches in Browns history. Jimmy Haslam said they felt "a pressure" and a "responsibility" to deliver a winning product to fans who have stuck with the team through the lowest of lows.

"Our fans have been unbelievably supportive," Dee Haslam said. "Cleveland is just the greatest town to be in if you are a football organization. We have great, loyal fans. I really believe that there is a lot of energy. It is a really great team that has been assembled. We really have not thought about the past. We have been looking towards the future. It is pretty easy because the excitement that we have here and the players that we have here, and the coaching staff is really excited.

"I think you can realistically expect progress. That is what we feel like. We have already made a lot of progress."

-- The Haslams pledged their support behind Hue Jackson following the team's winless 2017 season and they reaffirmed it Saturday when asked what they were looking to see from the third-year head coach in the upcoming season.

"I think this will be the first opportunity Hue will have to do what we know he can do as head coach as a leader," Jimmy Haslam said. "Even though Todd (Haley) will be calling all of the shots on offense, I think Hue will obviously have some impact there like he will defense. We are excited to see it."

-- Jimmy Haslam said there was no overstating the impact Tyrod Taylor has had on the entire team and organization. For months, teammates and coaches have lauded the veteran quarterback for his work ethic and leadership skills.

On Saturday, it was the owners' turns.

"We are here a lot, and there is no harder worker on our team than Tyrod Taylor," Jimmy Haslam said. "I know that we were getting a good football player. I did not understand what kind of a great person we were getting. He alone has set a different tone.

"We have three quarterbacks, two who have won games in the pros. This time last year when we started the season we did not have one guy on the roster who had won games on the roster as a quarterback. This time, we have two who have won games in the pros, and we have one who won a hell of a lot of games in college football. We feel good about where we are."

-- The Browns owners pledged their support behind wide receiver Josh Gordon, who is away from the team for an indefinite period of time.

Gordon, who has been suspended multiple times since his breakout 2013 campaign, impressed the Haslams with his "work ethic, attitude and what he was doing off the field," Jimmy Haslam said.

"Josh has clearly struggled with addiction – he would tell you that – over a long period of time," Jimmy Haslam said. "I think that we saw a different Josh Gordon here in the spring and during workouts. He is working hard. We are going to continue to work with the person and try to help him out both personally and professionally until it does not make sense."

-- A little more than a week ago, the NFL put a hold on its recently passed National Anthem policy in order to conduct more dialogue with the NFL Players Association on the issue. The Haslams expressed optimism about a solution, while maintaining the Browns would continue to hold neighborhood equality and unity summits, which have drawn the likes of Christian Kirksey, Jamie Collins, Seth DeValve and more to meet face-to-face with leaders and regular citizens all throughout Northeast Ohio.

"I really think that they are making the proper steps now," Dee Haslam said. "I do think that this conversation is going to be productive. It is a good thing that has happened."

-- The cameras and crew from HBO's "Hard Knocks" are hard to miss at Browns training camp, but the Haslams agreed they've caused little interference in their day-to-day activities. Dee Haslam admitted there's excitement building for the premier, which is slated for Aug. 7 at 10 p.m.

"So far, it has been zero distraction," Jimmy Haslam said. "That is our main focus is that it doesn't distract the team from getting ready for the season because that is what we are all focused on."

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