Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah can feel the Browns' team chemistry evolving as the offseason program comes to a close.
From a visit to the Cavaliers’ practice facility, taking team vacations out of Ohio and enjoying a return to casual social settings in the team facility after the end of pandemic restrictions, the Browns have placed a heavy emphasis on building team chemistry. The offense has traveled to the Bahamas, a trip paid by QB Deshaun Watson, and the defense has traveled to Miami, which was paid by DE Myles Garrett, over the last month.
Inside CrossCountry Mortgage Campus, a relaxed yet focused mood has helped players feel closer as a team as they prepare for 2022. Some, including Owusu-Koramoah, have played various basketball games on a hoop Coach Kevin Stefanski brought into the building, and other elements — such as being able to use a locker room and cafeteria again to socialize without COVID-19 spacing limitations — have helped the Browns bond.
"We're just really trying to build that camaraderie between the (offense and defense)," Owusu-Koramoah said. "Again, we come out here and go to different places off the field so it's been good, it's been propelling and it's been going up."
Check out photos of players and coaches working throughout the offseason
The Browns will have another team-building opportunity Wednesday when they visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The team is bussing down to Canton for the day to conduct a light practice before taking a tour of the museum, and they'll conclude the offseason program Thursday with a practice at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Owusu-Koramoah said the Hall of Fame experience won't be new to him — he said he visited the building last week — but is still looking forward to the time the team will spend on the hour-long bus ride and on the tour itself.
"Any moment we have to be able to be with the team, spend an hour on the road and spend time speaking to each other and experiencing the same things with each other is always good," he said.
Owusu-Koramoah will likely take another step this season toward becoming a leader on the defense after he flashed several promising moments his rookie season. He finished second on the Browns with 76 tackles and used his talented blend of speed and instincts to make several of them at or near the line of scrimmage for limited gains.
Now that he has a year under him, Owusu-Koramoah, 22, could see a significant uptick in usage — he was used in 90 percent of snaps in only three games last season. His playing time was limited due to injuries and an initial ease by the Browns as he was acclimated to NFL speed, but he certainly appears destined to see an increase in snaps in 2022.
"This year, it'll probably go up in terms of the role and things like that," he said. "I'm just doing what I can to give to the team."
Owusu-Koramoah will also be giving back to the continent where his ancestral roots lie.
He's set to visit Africa on June 21-22 with six other NFL players for the league's first "NFL Africa: The Touchdown" trip to the continent. The visit will be his second to Africa this offseason as he looks to be a leading player in the NFL's mission to grow the game internationally.
"It's a blessing to be able to go with those guys, to be able to go to Africa and to just be able to have that camaraderie amongst other guys, first or second generation from Africa," he said. "We are looking forward to having more."
When he returns, he'll step back into a Browns team that has a stronger team chemistry, one Owusu-Koramoah believes will help the defense — and his own game — become even better.
"When we talk about the understanding of communicating with each other and team chemistry, it is very little things that matter," he said. "It's nothing new to sports. It's nothing new to us. That's just something we've been looking forward to implementing, and it's been working well."