Browns running back Terrance West showed up in Berea last month with a new hairstyle, self-titled the "T-West Cut." The hairdo features a blonde stripe in the front left of his hair, which undoubtedly stands out, especially to joking teammates.
"That's my thing," West said. "I'm me – I'm never going to forget who I am."
Who Terrance West was last season evolved from week to week.
In Weeks 1 and 17, he torched both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens on the road for a combined 194 yards rushing, nearly leading the Browns to upset victories. In between, though, there were admitted stints in coach Mike Pettine's doghouse and mistakes that led to uneven playing time.
The Browns and West think with more NFL seasoning and an offseason focused on conditioning in the boxing ring, the consistent version of West will be more prevalent.
"I would make a mistake, and thought I knew it, but I really didn't," West said. "(Now it's) taking discipline and running with it."
Running with it, the football that is, will be the backbone of the Cleveland Browns in 2015. West's eyes light up when he talks about how running backs will have expanded roles in offensive coordinator John DeFilippo's offense.
"This playbook is a lot better. They are going to give it to us a lot out of the backfield," West said. "I got great hands, so I'm not worried about nothing … Catch the ball and run."
Standing in the second-year player's way is the other backbone of the Cleveland Browns: competition. Running back Duke Johnson was selected in the third round and, much like West, comes to the NFL with a puffed-up resume of accomplishments from Miami. On top of that, Isaiah Crowell received the lion's share of first-team repetitions to begin OTAs.
A year ago, West might've been worried about all of Cleveland's options at his position. Now?
"That's the coaches' decision. I just control what I can control – come out here and work hard," West said. "We're going to run the ball a lot this year."
West has grown to respect Pettine. Before Tuesday's OTA, Pettine introduced his father, Mike Sr., a legendary football coach at Central Bucks High School West in Pennsylvania. Pettine's father amassed a stunning 327-42 record from 1967-99.
The 24-year-old West is a father himself to a 7-year-old. West wants to shape his son's life positively like how the Pettine family clan has used the football field to shape theirs.
"His father taught him well," West said.
"I was very curious to see how Terrance would be coming back," Pettine said. "Other than what he did to his hair, he's been great."