Return of the Mack: Browns pro bowl center back in Cleveland
Donning in a baby blue t-shirt, board-shorts and sandals, a tanned, refreshed Alex Mack greeted a throng of reporters Monday in Berea.
Mack quickly dispelled any rumors that he wanted to leave the Browns.
"Business is business," Mack said. "All I can say is that I'm happy to be here. I'm excited to play football. And I'm ready to work."
Mack repeated himself several times in the interview with how impressed he was with the Browns for visiting him in California when free agency began. Owner Jimmy Haslam, general manager Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine all hopped a plane to the west coast, showing their Pro Bowl center how much he meant to the franchise.
"[They brought] a real strong front," said Mack. "We talked football. They got to know me a bit. I got to know them a bit. It meant a lot for me to have them all show up. They had a really good plan."
In particular, Mack has been happy with the offseason moves the Browns have made. He brought up the fact that the 2013 season featured many close games, and that his team might be on the verge of something special.
"We have a really good core group of guys. I think we have a lot of talent on this team," said Mack. "Everyone is on the same page: show up, work hard and win games."
Though their meetings have been brief, Mack only had good things to say about Pettine leading the way in Cleveland.
"It's been real positive," said Mack. "When he flew out to California he had a real strong message there. It was good to see him [today] in the workplace environment."
Though the contract negotiations were stressful at times, Mack still found ways to have fun. He did some vacationing in Machu Picchu and toured Peru. And fellow Browns tight end Gary Barnidge hosted a youth football camp in Brazil, where Mack helped tutor young kids.
As for now, Mack plans on sticking around in Ohio and being a full participant in the Browns voluntary offseason program.
"I have an offense to learn," said Mack. "I have work to put in."