BEREA—It was a name that was rarely, if ever, uttered in the Cleveland Browns locker room this season.
On Monday morning, no one could keep it off of their lips.
Sashi Brown, the newly appointed Executive VP of Football Operations for the Browns, will be the man in charge of Cleveland’s 53-man roster going forward and, though he’s yet to meet with the media, he has made himself known to the players currently on said roster.
"I don't really hang out with him or anything, but he's a great guy,” Danny Shelton said. “I'm not going to have any doubt with him or anything. I know he's going to do his job for the organization.”
While the Browns players might not be close with Brown just yet, many made their thoughts on the man known on Monday and, much like Shelton's, those thoughts were overwhelmingly positive.
"The things I've dealt with him with, he's been very intelligent, he's been very straightforward, he's been very good in those aspects,” Joel Bitonio said. “Every time I've talked to him he seems like an intelligent guy that kind of knows what he's doing, especially in his fields that he's worked with. It'll be interesting to see how things work out.”
As the former general counsel for the Browns working on primarily on contracts, Brown has negotiated numbers with many players on the current roster and has simultaneously earned their respect.
“I know him a little bit. I respect him. I can’t tell you too much about him, but I know I’ve dealt with him when I was trying to get a deal done heading into the season,” Gipson said. “I know he’s a good dude. I know he’s thought highly of in the business world and things like that.”
Gipson is right in that Brown has made his waves in the business world, as he is a Harvard Law graduate that has worked in litigation and other business aspects of the NFL for over 10 years, but does that impressive business resume qualify him for his current situation?
According to receiver Andrew Hawkins, it certainly does.
“I'm a fan of Sashi Brown and the way he approaches things and I think he has the knowledge,” Hawkins said. “If he's been in it long enough to understand everything, I'm all for it. I'm on the side of putting Sashi Brown in charge.”
Though Brown was the main focus of the year-end meetings for players and the media on Monday morning, Isaiah Crowell didn’t quite care who is in charge, as long as that person is making better moves than those in the past.
“Really we just need people to make football decisions, better football decisions,” Crowell said. "I just feel like a lot of things could’ve went different in the season if some decisions were made differently.”
As of Sunday night, it will be Brown that is making those decisions for the Browns and it's increasingly clear that he has the support of just about everyone in the building.
“He’s got the reins, the keys to whatever car you want to call it,” Gipson said. “Hopefully, he gets this job done.”
For all of your Browns news and updates from Berea, follow Hayden Grove on Twitter: @H_Grove.