Behind the Scenes

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Meet Ron Brewer, the 'big brother' Browns players love behind the scenes

Ron Brewer started working on a collection of achievements to mount on the blank white wall in his office two years ago.

The assortment started with a large orange square that displays a quote from author John C. Maxwell, and smaller square pictures of Browns players pop out from the wall and surround the quote:

"Action is what converts human dreams into significance."

Beneath the pictures are various achievements from Browns players who have furthered their education at a university or have taken steps to become a better leader at the NFLPA Leadership Summit.

The collection has grown a bit larger after each offseason and encapsulates the heart of what Brewer, known best by Browns personnel as "Brew," hopes to accomplish as the Browns' manager of player engagement.

Brew's role is to ensure players can achieve success off the field and help manage life away from football. He might be one of the only team employees that shares a personal connection with nearly each player in the Browns locker room, and he's usually one of the first Browns employees to meet with rookies when they arrive in Berea.

"I always had a passion for how athletes are more than just athletes,” Brew said. "I had a passion for athletes being able to be successful on the field, but also have skills and develop and do the right things off the field."

Brewer, 37, is there for whatever players need most. When players are interested in purchasing their dream car, buying a new house or opening a bank account, they come to Brew. If a player wants to earn a college degree in the offseason, Brew will help them enroll. When a player is dealing with personal matters at home, Brew will always be open to talk.

He's been the glue of the Browns since he joined the team in 2015. Whether its football, family or finances, Brewer is there to keep team morale high and make sure players never take an NFL career for granted.

"He's that big brother you wish you had when you were younger," rookie linebacker Mack Wilson said. "Whenever I need anything or want to know anything, the first person I call is him. I trust him, and he's just a person we all have never had before."

Check out the best photos from the first half of Browns Camp by team photographer Matt Starkey

Brewer grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia, and worked in player development roles at his alma mater University of North Carolina, Louisiana State University and the Minnesota Vikings. He's always been interested in learning about life off the field for professional athletes, and his inspiration stemmed from watching player documentaries on SportsCenter.

He noticed how most featured players grew up from rough backgrounds and overcame tremendous adversity to reach the NFL. Brewer wanted to find out how to help players accomplish similar goals and maintain their dream once they reached the NFL.

If that sounds too cliché, it’s not. With Brewer, it's real. Just ask any Browns player who has worked closely with him.

Undrafted wide receiver Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi joined the Browns with little money and only two bags worth of possessions. After he met Brewer, Sheehy-Guiseppi has straightened life out with his own bank account, lessons on managing paychecks and how to spend money on both his family and himself.

"He motivates me and just keeps me on my toes," Sheehy-Guiseppi said. "He's helped me though a lot, and he just keeps me ready and focused."

Brewer wants to build a personal connection with every player on the Browns roster. So, when Browns rookies received time off during OTAs in May, Brewer helped organize a trip to Cedar Point amusement park.

The team loved it, and some players attempted to ride every roller coaster in the park. Linebackers Sione Takitaki and Wilson were afraid of nothing, while cornerback Greedy Williams was the exact opposite. Brewer talked Williams, originally hesitant to try any ride, into facing his fears before he finally hopped on.

Overall, though, it brought everyone together. That's exactly what Brewer wanted.

"They got to talk trash to me, and I got to talk back," Brewer said with a laugh. "I love getting guys out of the building as a group. It's a good change of pace."

Brewer just wants each player to embrace life in the NFL. It doesn't matter if a player was selected in the first round or was undrafted, or whether they have a big contract or a rookie deal. He understands everyone has a life away from football, and he's here to ensure everyone can enjoy that, too.

"Because of my role, I can walk in the locker room and know every guy in that locker room," Brew said. "I can walk in the coaches' office and know every guy in the office. This is one position where you actually have to touch everybody, and it's so enjoyable."

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