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Browns TE Gary Barnidge has some of the best hands in the NFL


Andrew Hawkins calls Gary Barnidge the Matthew Dellavedova of the Cleveland Browns.

"Man, he does it all," said Hawkins.

"I'll definitely take that," Barnidge said with a hearty laugh.

Earlier this week, Pro Football Focus released a stat that backs up Hawkins' claim.

According to the Washington Post, the Browns were actually ranked third in the entire league with just 16 total drops.

Barnidge didn't even realize these facts.

"I don't really pay attention to numbers," said Barnidge.

That's the epitome of Cleveland's 29-year-old tight end. He doesn't want recognition. He just wants to do what's asked of him, and win football games. There is no scientific formula to his lack of drops or extra catching work done in the offseason. According to Barnidge, he just goes out, locates the football, and secures it in his hands or breadbasket. He makes it seem so effortless, so simple.  And the results don't disagree with him.

While Barnidge is a naturally optimistic guy, he's carrying substantial enthusiasm about the new offense led by coordinator John DeFilippo. First, Barnidge has played with quarterback Josh McCown in 2008-09 with the Carolina Panthers.

"He's a born leader," said Barnidge. "He knows what he's doing and he's good at everything. He's going to be a true leader out there for us."

Secondly, with Jordan Cameron out of the picture, more opportunities could be molded for Barnidge. Newcomer Rob Housler will take on the role of more of a vertical threat, but with the Browns' emphasis on running the football, multiple tight end sets will likely occupy the field more in 2015.

"We have a great tight end group. We're all going to be used and we're going to be asked to do everything," Barnidge said.

Barnidge stays busy in the offseason, critiquing the latest Hollywood films and traveling to WWE events. But he also co-created American Football Without Barriers (AFWB) which helps spread youth football camps and equipment across to foreign countries. Barnidge was accompanied by teammates Alex Mack and Barkevious Mingo to Turkey, where participation was at an all-time high, including 50 girls who showed up for a separate women's camp.

While some players are retiring from the NFL early, Barnidge sees himself on the other end of the spectrum serving as a global ambassador for the sport that's given him so much.

"We really did break some barriers over there," said Barnidge.

The next item Barnidge has circled on his docket is training camp. As a tight end who enjoys the physicality of blocking, OTAs limit his skillset due to the non-contact nature. Once the pads come on, Barnidge says it'll be a whole new ball game.

"When we put the pads on, everything will click even more," said the veteran tight end.

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