Every player on the Cleveland Browns walks past a sign each day right outside the cafeteria. It's a landmark in the facility you can't miss.
In big, bold letter, it reads: Play Like A Brown.
We've covered Play Like A Brown in two other articles – how it was conceived by general manager Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine, and also what it truly means.
As we gear up for training camp and the start of the season, the focus now shifts to the words underneath that Play Like A Brown sign: accountable, relentless, productive, passionate, tough and competitive.
These words will shape the franchise for years to come.
Definition: Having, compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling.
There are players who are no longer on the Cleveland Browns roster because they lacked a passion for football. Plain and simple. Some of these players can compete and have landed on other NFL rosters.
But Ray Farmer, Mike Pettine and the rest of the coaching staff want men in their program who can't wait to come to practice; who walk into the film room with a dozen questions to ask about next week's opponent; who, most importantly, are passionate about restoring the Browns to an AFC powerhouse.
"We want to get guys that hate to lose," Pettine told ClevelandBrowns.com in a sit down interview. "Losing makes them almost borderline physically ill. I told them, there are guys in this room are good enough to play in the NFL. They just might not be a fit for us."
Maybe more so than any other sport, football games can be dictated by emotion. A key stop on a 4th-and-1 by the defense can stir up enough passion to fire up the offense to march down the field and score. Pettine knows this first hand. Often times the New York Jets weren't the more talented team. But they played with enough pride and energy to make opponents feel inferior.
Now, the Browns don't want to be known as the team who runs their mouth the entire game. But bonding together as brothers and showing passion in OTAs and minicamp has been evident.
Part of playing passionately means just going out and having fun. You can't be passionate about something that's mundane and boring. When the offense was struggling to move the ball during an 11-on-11 drill in minicamp, the defense let them know. Loudly. The unit took pride in outperforming the offense.
The Browns playing with passion, and consequently buying into how effective the concept can be, could alter the team's win total.