Skip to main content


Paul Kruger, Browns veterans aim to be standard-bearers of foundation laid during OTAs

The end of OTAs came earlier than expected as Hue Jackson concluded a tough week of practice so that the Browns could instead use that time to volunteer in the community.

And perhaps it's fitting, then, that such a gesture seemed to embody what the past three weeks have been like and an approach that seems to have stirred a new energy in and around Berea.

"I feel like we just have a really tightly knit unit of guys, coaches players and the organization all as one," said linebacker Paul Kruger, who spoke with Thursday during the Cleveland Browns Foundation's 17th annual charity golf tournament.

"And it feels good to have a good cause to get behind and have everyone support it together. I think today was a good example of how when we all come together and stand behind our organization a lot of special things happen."

In some ways, that's been the theme for the Browns as they near the end of offseason workouts with a mandatory minicamp set to begin Tuesday. Kruger and Cleveland's veterans hope to be the standard bearers of those good vibes, keeping that momentum rolling into the summer and, eventually, training camp.

"I think just creating a culture, I think that's the biggest thing right now," Kruger said when asked what he hoped to get out of minicamp.

"That's what coach Jackson has done such a good job of is just creating an environment that's a culture of winning and a standard people have to really work and strive to reach. I think we're on the right track for that."

Jackson spoke of such a philosophy at the golf outing last week.

"Our guys have worked extremely hard over these last eight practices to give us an opportunity to understand, first and foremost, what it's going to take to win. We all understand that it means nothing right now, but we have to lay the foundation and I think our players have done that," he said.

The Browns took to the practice fields for their final offseason training activity of 2016 before next week's minicamp.

Added linebacker Christian Kirksey, who enters his third season in Cleveland: "Coach always talks about winning. That's what we're here to do."

But in order to do so, Jackson stressed the need for the Browns to build on that foundation laid over the past few months.

"I think it's very important that we continue to move forward. And truly, what we're really all about is winning at the end of the day. I came here for one reason: I expect to win. And our players expect to win," Jackson said.

"And in order to do that, we have to understand that we have to work to win. And our coaches truly get that we have to create an environment for these men to be all they can be. And I'm going to ask our players to be as good as they can be each and every day. That's what we chase each and every day. There's no other way to do this. There's no shortcuts to doing what we're trying to accomplish."

This week's minicamp, of course, is no exception.

"We've been out there really working on our craft and putting a lot of effort and emotion into it and I feel like that's really been what's created a lot of good buzz, good energy," Kruger said.

"Just how much emotion guys are putting in — coaches and players alike — and I think people are just excited and when you get out there at practice and put forth all you've got it feels good to see everybody doing that."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content